Friday, 1 February 2008

New beginnings

I started writing the new crime novel yesterday. Just the prologue so far, but it's something. I meant to just write a single sentence that had been knocking around in my skull all week, a good opening line. But once I started, I kept going. I wrote 300 words, that's all, but they reminded me that this is how it works, that even when I'm not in the mood or I imagine I can't manage more than a sentence, writing one line leads (almost) effortlessly into another, and another, and none of it quite what I'd imagined I'd write, all of it a surprise, a reminder that I can do this and why I do it. A week from now, or six months, I may decide these 300 words are not worth keeping, may change or delete them, but for now I'm cherishing them. Cold evidence, you see, alive on the page; uniquely mine.

9 comments:

shezan said...

Swinging by to say hello and repeat my congratulations, and also to see if I can subscribe to the RSS feed on LJ (I suspect a paying account will have to do it before me so that the RSS feed is established at LJ.)

Sarah Hilary said...

Thank you, and hello! Sorry, I am entirely ignorant when it comes to these feeds - let me know if you figure it out, or if there's any useful action I can take, to make it happen.

Anne Brooke said...

That's fab! Well done, you.

:))

A
xxx

Pete said...

Does any writer ever find it enjoyable and easy, easy like drinking a pint or going down a water-slide, or lying in a bath, I mean is ever pleasant? The actual writing bit? I'd like to be brainwashed into finding it as pleasant as a most pleasant thing. I really, really would. Got any tips? Strange though the way even when you have to rip it out of yourself it can still come out good, like you say. You can feel like you were writing on a peat-bog with a barge-pole and no wellies but a couple of days later you can look at it and think, oh, that's not bad, did I do that?


Pete

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Anne, and great to hear from you here.

Sarah Hilary said...

Well, Pete, when I have oodles of spare time and I'm writing at my own pace with no deadline and no fear of rejection... Oh, wait. It's not been like that since I was 10. Ah, well. I love your peat-bog, barge-pole, wellies analogy - and yes! The wonderful surprise of finding you wrote something not half bad or - better - damn good... Few things beat that feeling. (That icon is just too cute - love it!)

Sarah Hilary said...

Anne, I added your blog to my links list - hope that's okay.

JohnA said...

An interesting insigt into how you got started - one sentence leading to 300 words.

How much of the story is plotted out at this point?

Sarah Hilary said...

Hi JA, I aim to have about 90% of the book plotted before I start writing. I've fallen into too many blackholes in the past, when I used to believe plotting wasn't essential, but given the necessity of creating a 'page-turner' (not peculiar to the crime genre but vital to it), I try to think of as many twists and turns at the outset as I can. This being a daunting prospect, I find a good "short-cut" is to try and write a one page synopsis - see what shakes down from that, as an exercise.

How about you - how much of yours was plotted in advance?

I think I'll start a new post/thread around this topic, as it fascinates me, how others work and what works for other writers.