I ran cross-country in high school. At the Wendy's Regional senior year the girls 5K began with 3 painful false starts. The first because of a fall in the first 20 feet, and then 2 more for someone anticipating the starter's pistol. Lining up that fourth time, I was frustrated and winded from sprinting out fast so as to not get stuck behind the back. Tensions were high-this course was known for the fastest times-and I wasn't the only one hoping for a PR. I jostled for position among the hundreds of girls stretching across the wide (recently mowed) field, doubled checked my shoe laces, and waited again for the starter's pistol.
On you mark,
I took off, but not as fast as the times before, and this time the pistol didn't sound again. This time it was for real. I pushed through the thick crowds, finding my pace, glad that this start was the right one.
Revising my NaNo feels so much like this experience. Timing is everything in a race. A novel is no different. Pacing, and especially beginning at the "Right" beginning, is hard. No matter how good the middle may be, or how powerful the ending is, if I can't start at the right place and hook my readers from page one, they're never going to get to page 2, much less 178.
At WIFYR last year Louise Plummer's assingment to the majority of the students was to rerwite the first pages. We typically fell into 2 catagories
1-Almost always too slow, with info dumps *but we're world building, they need to know this*
2-With so little information that the readers were lost *but the mystery is what's exciting*
I've started my NaNo both ways. Now I'm on my nineth start. I'm trying to listen to the race starter, to feel the moment when the sound of the shot fills my ears, and write that.
Helpful posts on starts. I know there's a million out there, but I learned a lot from PK Hzero and Janette really made me laugh. Enjoy!
An Author Incognito-Janette Rallison
How do you find the right start?