Monthly Archives: October 2011

Opening Sentence Anyone?

Recently the Rubies did a post on the importance of openings and sponsored a first line contest.  The entries were many (we reached the max of 100 entries) and varied in tone and genre, giving us quite the time chosing the finalists and winners.  You can find who won and placed—with their expanded entries—here.

 Also recently, I promised the prequel to my series.  With the importance of openings in mind, I’ve written the opening scene three times and deleted it twice.  So, just for giggles and grins, I’m going to give you the opening line of the current incarnation—which is, of course, subject to change; I’m still not satisfied with the tone.  I am, however, interested in your opinions, both good and bad so don’t be shy.  Let me know what you think.

Within Glastonbury Tor, 542 A. D.

Heat snaked beneath his skin, writhed and slithered straight to his groin, rousing his usually disinterested phallus to painful rigidity.

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A Different Plan

Seeing the date of my last post, I’m forced to admit I can’t walk and chew gum these days—which means weekly blog posts (the original plan) are nigh impossible.

My beloved’s surgery on 1 September turned out to be much more extensive than we first thought.  His days of walking blithely through a metal detector are over.  (Frankly, I’m grateful he can still walk at all.)   A few more screws, cages, and cross-braces and he may have to make like the Tin Man and carry his own oil can.  (Okay, okay.  I know medical hardware shouldn’t rust, but with our luck?  The WD40® is close at hand.)

Frustrated by my inability meet the myriad demands his incapacity adds to my workload and continue to write, I called my critique partner to bounce some ideas off of her and discuss ways to refine and condense my less-than-efficient process.  That topic soon segued into branding, tag lines, core story, high concept, and their relation to my current series.  We quickly realized the core story of the series (ignorance of the past can doom the future), which has its roots nearly a millenia before the series takes place, lacked definition.  Incorporating that history/back story into the books—especially the first two, since the characters have no knowledge of the event—requires a prologue.

I like prologues.  Always have.  They aren’t the darlings of the publishing world they once were, however.  Still, my characters must remain ignorant of certain past events until book three, thus there can be no conveniently found journals, book of family history (both of which would have been trite, anyway), or knowledgable companion, yet that thread must be present to stitch the three stories together.

A prologue it is.

As is her wont, my CP questioned me closely about the events that must transpire within that prologue.  Then she said, “You need to write this as its own story.”

Really?  Aren’t I already clawing and kicking to garner enough time to finish what I want to send out–preferably before those who requested it think I died?

“Listen.”  She pointed her finger at my face (I sooooo hate that, but I resisted the urge to bite).  “You said you need to refine your process, and this can help you.  You know your story, but you need to communicate everything to the reader, and the way your mind works (isn’t it lovely she’s familiar with my convoluted thought process and loves me anyway?), you tend to give highlights, assuming the reader also has a clue how your mind works.  Trust me, she doesn’t.”  (Yeah, it’s tough love, but that’s okay.)

She went on to tell me of a favorite author (of hers) who writes 50 page synopses before ever writing the story, why it worked for said author, and why she thought something similar would work for me.  As much as it pains me to admit it, she made some excellent points ere she added, “It’s a great story all by itself.  Write it.  It doesn’t have to be long, just complete.  Once you have it all down, you can take what you need and write the prologue.  The story itself, however, can be posted to your web site.  Readers will love it.”

Hmmmm.  That never occurred to me.  Even knowing there can be no HEA for the short prequel, the circumstances, choices, and character GMC are compelling.  What a great idea. 

I wish I’d thought of it.

So here’s the new plan:  The blog is going to be hit and miss for a while.  Sorry, but there are just so many hours in the day, and I need to use my limited writing time to refine my catch-as-catch-can process and work on my books.  Being published posthumously, if at all, lacks appeal. 

This blog’s readership is not extensive (although I do appreciate those of you who take the time to visit.  Many thanks for the thoughtful and supportive comments), and no one will pine because it must languish for a time.  I do, however, hope the prequel will entice everyone back once it’s up—in the next week or two, if all goes well.

For now, I’m off to that marvelous time before time, when planes of existence lacked the definition current society demands, and magic still had a toehold in our world.

The cavern is dark, devouring the light of four tall flambeaux arranged at its center.  Four men lay naked, as if dead, on four stone slabs.  A lone figure weaves between the stones, his voice echoing within the vast chamber.

Fare thee well for the nonce, my friends.  The time has come to observe and record the sorcerer’s attempts to counter events set in motion by the sorceress who had once been his student—and lover.

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