Friday, February 22, 2008

One Important Thing and Trivia

One of the most important bits of advice I got during Radcon 5 was during a barcon session with David Levine.  He said, in essence, to leave my opening alone and send it out.  If I overthink it, overwork it, it'll be a mess and it won't fit the rest of the novel.  To which I agreed.  But then I told him about my opening and he said, again in essence, don't touch a thing, leave it alone, but rewrite it (heh) so that the protagonist is protagging.

I've been hearing about starting in the middle, during action, etc. for almost my entire writing career.  As is common during said career, I had to hear the right permutation of advice at the right time with just the right word before I could blow up a hidden weakness.  Ah, those hidden weaknesses, how they plague us!

So thanks, David!  Now I know.  It's not about starting with action, really, not per se.  It's not even really about conflict, which a lot of really great openings don't have.  It's about the pov character in that opening friggin' doing something more interesting and challenging than picking nose hairs out, something that stands out in his/her/its day that's hard work or emotionally challenging.

Writing-Helpful Trivia/Word definition of the day:

Climacteric:  Pertaining to or constituting a climacter or critical period in human life; critical, fatal.
2. A critical stage in human life; a period supposed to be specially liable to change in health or fortune.  Some held all the years denoted by multiples of 7, others only the odd multiples of 7 to be climacterics; some included the multiples of 9.


Carole said...

Gosh am I ever glad you edited out that nose-hair picking section...BIG yawn there.

Carissa said...

Funky how we worked in the whole seven thing into Reven, though it isn't as strong as I use to be. maybe we should readdress that to make it stand out a little more again. Hehe