Wednesday, August 29, 2012

FIRST LINE: COMPLETED

(Alright, so the title is sort of a joke, but the post isn't really...)

After something like two and a half years, I believe I have finally hit upon a good first line for THE MADMAN'S CROWN. 

YAY!!!!!!!!!

It happened when a critique partner pointed out the ultimate irrelevance  of my first couple paragraphs.  This was something I knew in my heart, but wasn't ready to come to terms with.  (Note:  This is what CP's are for.  Oh, how I do love them.)


CP's also deserve non-creepy cupcakes.


And while I was dealing with that, I noticed a way I could rephrase this line--this line that I really liked, that had started near the beginning and floated up and down the first couple pages and even been deleted and reinstated a couple times during revisions. 

And when I rephrased this line slightly, I realized I had FOUND my first line. 

I liked it so much that it gave me the courage to delete that itty bitty prologue that I'd been holding on to forever.  (I decided it would have been necessary if I were telling the story in a different way.  But I'm not.  But Prologue Love is another topic entirely...)

So yes!  A first line that I love has finally emerged.  I don't want to share it, because I feel self-conscious now that I've made such a big deal about it, but...I think it's good. :) 

I realize now that finding a suitable first line was a lot like looking through a kaleidoscope.  I find myself using the words "found" and "hit upon" and "noticed."  It wasn't something I just sat down and wrote

That said, some of the future story ideas I have on file started as first lines.  Hmmm.

I'd be interested to hear how first lines work for other people.  The sharing of favorite first lines is also welcome. :)

9 comments:

  1. I love this post! It's great to hear writers when they reach an epiphany about their story.

    I have had to rework first lines a couple times. One of them I loved the way I worded the first paragraph, but had it pointed out to me that, while it sounded intriguing, it didn't blend into the next. So, I had to remove it. And it sounds much better without it.

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    1. I can totally relate. It usually takes some time for me to see those "pretty" parts that don't belong and be able to cut them.

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  2. Congratulations. I believe the first line says a lot about what the reader is in store for, so coming up with a good one can be difficult and frightening.

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    1. Thanks, Charity! And I agree. Difficult and frightening. :)

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  3. First lines are so important, it's great that you found yours :) It also takes courage to admit that your first line isn't good enough and needs to be revised, so good for you! And I agree with you on the greatness of CPs, where would we be without them?...

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  4. Oooh! Can I see? Can I see? BTW are you doing #GUTGAA or #CAGI or #THEREARETWOMANYACRONYMS ;-)

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    1. Ahh! Kristina, I just found this now!!!! Aaaand three months later...the answer is yes. :D

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