Saturday, July 19, 2008

Better Beginnings

I'm only about 2,000 words into my new project, and I'm already rewriting it. The original first paragraph of the still-unnamed project is this one: "Autumn, crisp and thrilling, had swept the sullen summer heat away at last. It was the end of September; a rich blue sky arched above ridges ablaze with golds and reds, and the air was so clear that colors seemed bright and clean--as though the whole world had been washed overnight."

Okay, not only is that way way too wordy and full of adjectives, it's also no way to start a book. Here, in contrast, is the first paragraph as rewritten by me this morning: "Gabe had fallen. He'd fallen down the stairs."

It's not perfect, but it's sure a lot more interesting.

Now I'm leaving for the Weird Al concert, so while you're full of jealousy this evening wishing you were with me, you can just think about how all writing is really rewriting.

4 comments:

Catherine J Gardner said...

I'm a nightmare when I start a new book - I spend the first few days writing and rewriting the first paragraphs.

K.C. Shaw said...

I usually just charge right in, but I haven't given this one a lot of thought yet so I'm not sure where to start. I suspect I'll get a few chapters down and then move to another project while this one ripens.

Jackie said...

I like your new succinct beginning sentence.

K.C. Shaw said...

Thanks! It's a lot shorter to type, and leads into an event that will be important later in the book.