I have a confession to make. I’m trying to write a book all on my lonesome. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean Ashley and I are stopping collaborating, definitely not! But I need something to keep me occupied since I have finished my last nursing course and have a bit (a lot) of spare time on my hands.
I’m the kind of bull-headed, stubborn eejit that butts her head up constantly against brick walls, and when I see a challenge, I like to go for it. Collaborating is fun, doing it on your own is so much harder (I applaud all of you solitary writers out there, it’s not for the faint-hearted!). Because it’s a challenge, I figure it’s a good way to keep developing my skills, and hopefully I’ll have more to offer on our collaborative projects once I’m done.
Anyhow, so I’ve set myself a goal of 1,500 words per day, and am trying the ‘story grid’ way of writing (see my last post for more on this). So far it’s going pretty good. Though I recognize quality is more important than quantity, I’m proud of having managed to get down a good 30,000 words or so.
I have discovered the hardest part is starting a new scene in an interesting way. I hate, hate, hate starting with ‘the’ or ‘I’ (though I will accept it so long as it’s not every chapter). And so I started looking at other books and discovered there’s several different types of scene starts, if you’re looking for inspiration.
- The time/number-based beginnings:
“When Daniel next entered the shop…”
“Twenty past nine…”
“Two days later…”
- Character beginnings:
“Rosie looked like she could kill him…”
“I came to my senses, strung upside down…”
- Place or object (usually begins with ‘the’):
“The Tube was packed with Monday morning travelers…”
“The coffee was black and bitter…”
- Descriptive beginnings:
“Lush green fields stretched out in every direction…”
“Cold and bleak, the misty rain swirled around Tom as he…”
- The ‘idea’ beginnings:
“Experience told Anna that bowling in, guns blazing, was a bad idea…”
“It occurred to me that…”
- Finally, the dialogue beginnings:
“What do you think you’re up to?” Mrs. Dane asked me as I rifled through the papers on the counter…
I’ve probably missed a few, I’m sure. But it’s been helpful, analyzing interesting beginnings. Note that all the above sentences I just randomly thought up. If you think it makes a great writing prompt, go ahead. You’re welcome!