Friday, August 25, 2006

Beginnings Are For the Birds

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little." - Anne Lamott

I worked on my writing like a dog yesterday (who have more longing to express themselves than sheep lice do, in case you were wondering -- they just lack opposable thumbs) and produced... nothing good.

I typed and typed and typed and have hundreds of words on a short story and it's very possibly the most boring thing I've ever produced. This is odd because, in my oh-so humble opinion, the bones of the story are quite good.

Last night I realized I'd started too early. The opening "hook" was, in fact, well down the page. I thought, "I know! I'll have this situation as an ongoing thing, and the phone will wake her up with the news that it's happened again!"

Brilliant! Great hook! Jolt 'em from a sound sleep! What could be better??

Then I remembered Charity had commented in one of her posts (and I can't find the freakin' post to link here... I looked through them, but I am apparently BLIND... C, if you read this, feel free to tell me which post this was in) about judging contest entries and they all began with someone being jolted out of sleep.

So, old news. Need new beginning.

I had to take my DD to the Library Summer Reading Program ice cream social and awards thingie last night. It was at seven o'clock. While I realize that, for most people, this is not a late hour -- for me, it's practically past my bedtime. I was zombie-woman, staring off into space. It's a miracle I didn't fall asleep at the wheel driving home -- it was, after all, well past eight!

Still, DD had a good time. She won the award for most hours spent reading in the past six weeks (126 hours -- and I think she actually did more than that, but I was trying to be fair, and that's only 3 hours of reading a day, when in reality she reads constantly). I was truly surprised when some of the kids only read 10 or fewer hours in the past six weeks. That was terribly sad. One of them was the librarian's daughter!

When we got home, I tumbled into bed (well, I did wash my face and brush my teeth first), but brought my notebook to brainstorm about this blasted story, figuring that my brain was so tired, it wouldn't automatically edit out things that might be gems even though they sounded weird.

I did think of some fun stuff that will add to the conflict, but still no beginning.

Why did I ever want to write?


Charity said...

It was in the comments section of the haiku post, not an actual blog entry. And really, this sort of opening can work, it’s that that it seems a lot of writers are using it. And I thought it was odd that I picked three random entries and got the same type of opening.

Allie Boniface said...

Please...I hate beginnings. Hate them. Can't do them. Hate them.

MaryF said...

I pester my students to read, and yet I can't get my own son to. Good for your daughter!