On the other tab at the top of this screen, there are exactly two paragraphs in a document towards yet another start of the same story I have been trying to write since before I was even remotely literate.
So why then am I here on a second tab in another document writing to you? Aside from the fact that I am overdue for a blog update, I only have a few hours left of the weekend to work on this story before my brain is fogged with inane retail blarg.
I looked at my phone. I fixed a cup of tea. I remembered that I have to start prepping my lunches for the week as I am a penniless writer five days out from payday and cannot afford to buy lunch at work per usual. I took a nap on my cozy freshly changed bed. I sat in the kitchen thinking about how hungry I am.
Then I returned to that aforementioned tab and the last sentence I wrote, and it was a total and complete disconnect. It was a perfect opening, pleasantly paced with vivid imagery. And in spite of the fact that (being only two paragraphs in) there is much more to tell, the words won’t come to me.
Because I paused and didn’t follow through, I would just as soon toss that perfectly fine opening and start what I sincerely believe will be in the billionth count of false starts this tale has had. On this laptop alone there are already four or five discarded attempts, not including two flash drives full that I haven’t peaked at for ages.
This is because I suck at openings, especially ones where I have to set up an entire alien world like I have in my head. I get bogged down in establishing this and that and explaining that I have flashbacks to a certain chunk of a beloved book that spends fifty pages on backstory in the middle of intense action.
Logically I would pick any old scene at another point in the story where I can focus on the action and let that speak. I have two scenes, one longhand one typed, that I have written like this and for the most part finished them. If I ever get brave enough I might even post a snippet here to demonstrate.
But as I have repeated several times here, I do not function in logic. And a rebellious and OCD personification in my brain is resisting. To my own detriment.
The lesson here? Do not stop for any reason once you begin writing, if the house is on fire run out my laptop in hand and keep writing. The flow needs to be consistent, it will always be easier to finish a scene and add or subtract from it later than to drop it midway and try to reconnect to the thread you had before.
Also, chronology is for final drafts, not for firsts. Write all over, write today, write twenty years ahead, write twenty years before, hell write a chapter with nothing but a characters delusions and totally dismiss them in the next. Diana Gabaldon once wrote back to me when I asked about her process that she keeps a file of nothing but single scenes she writes, which get put together like puzzle pieces in the end.
So, I am off to close out that pesky tab and pick out a nice fun scene to work on with the last moments of energy I have for the night. To the tune of, most fitting, Daydream Believer by the Monkees.