Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday Tally: plus Openings Part 2

EotF Update

total words to date: 90,000(ish)

pages: 402

chapters revised: 6/27 (draft 5)


T.C. Status

word count: 1471


This month's goals:

  • finish five antagonist chapters for EotF - 1 down, 4 to go
  • finish EotF draft 5 
  • submit at least one batch of poetry
  • submit Blazing Princess
  • work on Trinity Coven

This week's goals:

With most of my books in storage, I didn't have a large selection of books to randomly choose from to assess openings, so I looked at the first lines of every fantasy book at hand (about half a dozen). Most started with introducing the world or one of the characters. The ones with prologues had more stylistic, quotable first lines. Some started with dialogue. I don't think having a "killer first line" is as important as drawing the reader into the world. However, they didn't have a lot of backstory and did get into the conflicts rather quickly. As for my own...

After some needed feedback, and an epiphany from comparing my openings for T.C. and EotF, I have once again reworked EotF's first page. You see, I thought TC and EotF started very similar - introduce characters and setting, not a whole lot going on until end of paragraph when BAM some form of conflict or plot is thrown at the reader. But TC was working, and EotF was somehow falling short. The former has been barely edited, and the latter's opening is one of the most edited parts of the book. Chalk it up to growth as a writer, or story strength, the muse, whatever.

Anyway, my epiphany: TC starts with a definite mood and purpose. EotF started with no mood. The door slam was an inciting incident that interrupted a void. All my cuts and revisions had left fairly lifeless sisters combing each other's hair until given a purpose. The solution was proposed by my husband. Extend the first part a bit, give it more action, a little humor and banter. Show the sister's relationship before the interruption. Not much longer, but makes a huge difference.

At least I find confidence in the fact that each draft is better than the last. I am improving!

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