Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I started writing a new story this past week. Really it's an old story, pieced together from bits of two stories I began about a year ago. The character in both of those was sort of the same and a little while back, he kept creeping into my thoughts again. Then I figured out a thread to unite all these loose ends and decided it was time to write this ghost out of my head.
Starting a new book can sometimes be difficult. Other times, it's the easiest part of the whole deal. In fact that's all some people seem to manage...a lot of beginnings that simply run out of steam. But there are parts that I'm struggling with this time around that have mostly to do with the subtleties of the main character's voice. He's slightly sarcastic, which is a tough chord to strike to open a novel. Just as in real life, sarcasm can be off-putting during a first impression. However, the same off-putting remarks can be endearing once one knows the character better. I find myself writing a lot of things that need to wait until you know the character.
I've always felt that establishing character and place are the key elements to opening a novel that isn't necessarily plot driven. Plot driven novels have their pitfalls of course. One always has to wonder if they've opened the story with quite a big enough BANG to get everyone's attention.