New Beginnings

It’s been two and a half years since I’ve seen the front half of my novel The God Machine, and what I found there was something pretty amazing. Progress.
There is a lot to be said about the beginning of a writer’s journey. In the beginning when you are preparing to write your first page, there are many unknowns. Who are these characters? Where is this story going? How long will this thing be? How long will it take me to write this?
Things change as you move along through the story. In the beginning I thought this was going to be a short story. Yeah, right, some short story. It’s about 250 pages short.
I had clearly planned to have a hero, a heroine, and a jealous suitor as the bad guy. Not so. The jealous suitor turned out to be humble, kind and someone that I loved more than anyone in the whole book. The hero, half way through, became the bad guy. YIKES! HOW?
Now that I know what and who these people are, it’s time to fix the beginning. Beginnings are weird because of the unknown factor and I like to put everything in there that I can possibly think of. I was also in short story mode so my writing was mega descriptive and I tried to fit the kitchen sink in just a scant few pages.
My goal with draft number three and the current draft I am on is to make the front end of the horse jive with the back end cause right now the front end is doing the Hokey Pokey, and the back end is doing the Foxtrot. I have been breezing through erasing everything that is not true anymore, and adding a few special re-writes here and there. I have to get the story as correct as possible before I start going for other types of mistakes, typos, grammar, flow, redundancy. They’ll go later.
One of the neatest things I’ve noticed from reading the beginning of the book is writing improvement. I know I wrote the beginning. I remember writing the beginning, but a lot can happen in two and a half years. I’ve learned a lot about showing and not telling. I’ve learned about description and tension, and as the story unfolds, so does my writing style.
One rule that I like to go by while writing a book is, if something changes, if you get a new idea, but you are going to have to go back and tweak the beginning, DON’T tweak the beginning. Make the change where you are now and write the book assuming you’ve made the change everywhere else. Go back and tweak the beginning after you’re done writing the book. This rule saves time and doesn’t obstruct your flow. Well, now that I am at the beginning again and seeing the things that I didn’t change, I know it’s a good rule.
Like I said earlier, I am erasing things that are not true anymore and adding additional things in to make the backside jive. So far, its been an easy process, but things can change. I’ll let you know. I am also considering putting the first few chapters up on my blog. Hate to brag on my own baby, but I love love love my book. Have a great day.

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  1. I really enjoyed reading today’s post. As writer’s we all have our own method of getting the job done. I tend to edit as I write, and I will definitely go back and re-do the beginning as soon as I change something midstream that now no longer makes the two halves jive. But that’s just me. Your way is great too. And of course, as you are doing now, there is always the task of – once you’ve written that last page – going back to page 1 to read it cover to cover to catch anything that you missed along the way. I can totally relate when you say you saw progress and improvement of your craft with each additional chapter you’ve written. How exciting to hold tangilbe proof that you’re getting better and better at this thing, right? Thanks for sharing your joy and enthusiasm with the rest of us. Good luck with final edits, and I look forward to the new book’s release!

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 11 months ago

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