Good writer’s are always growing, right? So, in the last couple of years, I’ve really come to understand just how important the intro to a story is. Not just because it’s the first thing people read. But because the beginning sets the tone for the entire story.
If you’re writing a historical paranormal (like, I wish), it needs to feel historical AND paranormal from the very beginning. You can’t have weird things happening that don’t match the tone of the story you’re laying out!
I tried to write a story earlier this year (ahaha). The first chapter was fun and silly, but the overall tone of the story in theory, while still fun and comedic, is also dark and supernatural. I started the story in a convenience store with the main character buying chips or bugels or something, I don’t remember. A page or two later, when the first bit of tension happens, albeit brief, it didn’t feel right, because the starting tone was all wrong. I had a good reason for starting the story in a convenience store, I swear, but I think perhaps I started it too late. And too light.
In my current project, it feels magical and dark from the very beginning. I have a character alone in a room, talking to a goldfish. It’s by far one of my most favorite openings that I’ve written. I wrote it back in February or something, so when I reread it before picking the story back up, I was just so entranced. 😀
I know right. It’s probably a weird thing to say, that I was all absorbed in my writing, but it happens. ^_^
It was thinking about this concept – of getting the beginning right – that helped me figure out why I was feeling so disconnected from the intro to “The Puppet Box.” It was good, and I liked it, but I felt like something was missing. Like ole Riley was hiding something from me! Can you imagine? 😛 But honestly, my characters don’t usually hide crap from me.
I guess she finally broke down and showed me because I was threatening to pull her story off the grid. But I tried again, just in case there was something lurking in the back of my mind. Also, because I’m in love with the idea.
After getting my brain all relaxed at the Loreena McKinnitt concert last month, I went home and felt the urge to flip through my story ideas – not looking for anything in particular. And I ran across this freaky idea. And something about it just really pulled at me. So I moved it up the list.
A few minutes later though, I reached for my phone and edited my “Puppet Box” note to include some details from that idea. It doesn’t replace that idea, strange enough. But I felt drawn to it for a reason, you know. And the next day, all of Riley’s secrets came tumbling out all over the place, and it was awesome. ^_^
Because I knew she was too normal. She had to be hiding something!!
So, all of that rabbit trail to say: it fixed my intro, and the story will be much better.
The funny thing is – none of this changed the ending. It just fixed all the weird plot holes I had and made the ending that much better. I cannot wait to write this ending!! It’s what’s dreams are made of. Or nightmares. 😈 I have a song picked out for it and everything. Can. Not. Wait.
Yeah, intros are important. They set the tone and pace for the entire story. No pressure though, seriously, because you can rework it as many times as you want. I often write my intros several months before I actually write the stories.
“No Rest for the Wicked” had an intro down 6 months before I picked it back up. “Winter’s Siren” (the current project), got it’s intro down back in February, a good 7 months before I picked it up again, and it would have been longer than that if “The Puppet Box” had been ready. So, I’ll probably have the new intro for “The Puppet Box” down soon. It’ll give me something to look over when drafting time comes. ^_^ In fact, I already have the intro down to two other stories, and I don’t know when I’ll get to those little beasts. Those are fun stories waiting to happen. 😀
While I’m at it. I should get the new intro down for another story…
See…this is why I have focusing problems.
Happy Last Day of November! ^_^