teaser tuesday

January 12, 2010

I have been thinking about my opening chapter. It breaks rules. (1) It begins with a dream. (2) It begins with pain, sort of. Apparently both are overdone and agents want nothing to do with either of them. Generally speaking. I knew that dreams were kind of a no-no, but I thought it was pretty crucial to my story, and unique enough to make it stand apart, so that people would forget they didn’t like reading about dreams in the opening scene.

I was wrong on both accounts.

About an hour ago I had a change of heart about it. I guess it comes down to the whole ‘murder your darlings’ idea. I didn’t think I had a problem with doing that, but apparently I do. I need to be more focused on telling the best story, rather than keeping ideas just because I had them and wrote them down.

My thoughts now:

Why would I want to defend being even a little bit cliched, when I usually try to avoid it like the plague? Why do I need to stick with that idea for the opening scene, when it was pretty much the first thing that came to mind, not the best? I will come up with a more unique opening.

I do see it as a process. If I hadn’t written that opening chapter, and the other 8 chapters I wrote based on it, I wouldn’t have gotten so far along with plot and characters. I wouldn’t have been able to come up with an opening that was suitable. So even if I have to trash most of the 20,000 words I’ve already written, I’m coo’.

Anyway. Here is my first attempt at rewriting the beginning of my story:

It looks like I have three sets of parents.

There are my adoptive parents, the admirably dysfunctional Timbles. They’ve been pretty cool about all this, for old people. They told me I didn’t come from Mum’s privates as soon as I was old enough to understand, and managed to keep my self-esteem somewhat intact ever since.

There are the Westleys – the perfect couple. They align the ornaments on their coffee table parallel to the edge and symmetrical distances apart, and apologise when you accidentally step on their feet. We’ve met up with them a few times, on account of me wanting to find my bio parents.

Then there are the two somebodies who actually are my bio parents, because the Westleys aren’t actually perfect. They’re full of shit.


16 Responses to “teaser tuesday”

  1. houndrat Says:

    Well, this is intriguing! Raises instant questions, like who the heck are the Westleys then, and how are they full of shit? And who are her real parents?

    Love the line about her not coming from her Mum’s private–Bwahaha!

  2. Kaitlin Says:

    I’m very intrigued, and I already feel connected to your MC, so I’d say you’re off to a great start!

  3. Kathy Says:

    I like this way better. I’m very curious about these parents! And why *three sets*? Very odd and original.

  4. Becca Says:

    Sucks that you had to get rid of 20k. I originally had a dream sequence at the beginning of my first book. Nixed it. I’m sure you’ll do great with the rewrite. 🙂

    As for the teaser, I’m curious about the parents as well. Love the last line.

  5. Kristin Says:

    I am so intrigued! This is awesome!

  6. LostCrayons Says:

    I never read the original, but I like this opening a lot. I immediately want to know why the MC is associating with the Westleys, and what the deal with his/her real parents are. LOL’d at “mum’s privates”–brilliant!

  7. CupofDice Says:

    Interesting snippet. And yes, killing your darlings is something every writer needs to learn. The first time is always easiest. 😉

  8. DH Kuypers Says:

    Interesting opening! “I didn’t come from Mum’s privates” made me chuckle. I do think you made the right choice to take out pain & dreams.

  9. Jamie Says:

    I like this opening – hooks me!!

  10. Krista Ashe Says:

    Oh man, I love your MC’s voice! I like how honest she is while relating what’s going on in the scene! I agree with Kaitlin that you connect with the MC right off.

  11. Corrine Jackson Says:

    This hooks me so much more than a dream intro would! I like this a lot.

  12. Angie Says:

    Love the voice. Very hooky and I have to say, much better than the dream sequence you started off with before. Yes, murdering your darlings has to be done sometimes, but don’t completely throw it away. You might find use for it later.

    Cheers! Angie

  13. Lynkay Says:

    I’m hooked. It’s almost as if I’ve stepped back with a friend and we’re conversing. I’m curious about the way this story is going to go. Love that there’s humor (mom’s privates), and obvious intrigue, because I want to know who these other parents are. Excellent opening.

  14. Karla Says:

    I’m definitely hooked. Your MC’s voice is really great! Great opening!

  15. I like this opening. And I say just write the story, no matter what, go with your gut! 😀

  16. Bee Says:

    That is a fantastic beginning. I feel connected to your MC already and I want to know so much more!

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