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 the *novel*

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author_in_progress
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PostSubject: the *novel*   Sat May 02, 2009 6:28 pm

I saw no other topics like this on a brief scan of this section, but the forum title does say that this is where posts of this nature go. So I'm going to rant a bit about my novel, and see if getting the rants out of my head do any good towards getting the chapter out of my head.

Eversong.

It's a basically magical country that I'm trying desperately to keep from being like every other generic fantasy world out there already.

And thus far (AKA, the outlines) I've had no trouble. The people, creatures, and areas are as original as I can make them within the boundaries of 'a magical country.'

The real world action takes place in my home city of Virginia Beach, so there's no trouble there.

The problem lies in getting my main character, Vicky, FROM Virginia Beach TO Eversong. The first chapter. The all-important introduction that's either going to make or break my career as a writer. The first chapter is on it's third incarnation, and I still hate it. It's just not flowing. It is, to put it bluntly, boring. Vicky's just a regular girl, nothing very special about her, and her home-life's good, and she just finished college when it starts, and is kinda drifting in limbo between school and Real Life, when she finds a book that's like none other she's ever seen before. (This is another part I'm having tremendous difficulty with. I've never read "The Never-Ending Story," but I grew up on the movies, and all three remain favourites to this day, and I just don't know what to do to keep people from writing it off as a non-plagiarised spin-off of that story, because of the way it starts.) While reading the book in a local park, she falls into a fountain, and when she breaks the surface again, she's in Eversong.

The story, in my mind, picks up from there. Once she's IN Eversong, it's going to flow wonderfully, I just know it. But that first chapter is fighting me tooth and nail (or comma and period, as it were) and I'm desperately worried that the book's not going to sell, simply because of that boring (in my mind) first chapter.

Now, I have the two most important things a writer needs to remember pasted on the wall above my computer (Don't get it right - Get it written, and Show Don't Tell) so I realise that at this stage, the first chapter doesn't have to be perfect. But that doesn't stop me from endlessly worrying about how bad it is at the moment, and from panicking that it's never going to get any better, no matter how many revisions it receives, and that's totally halting the flow.

To keep this a community discussion, and not just a whinge-fest, I'm going to open it up and ask the rest of you to talk about any of your first-chapter-debacles.
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PostSubject: Re: the *novel*   Sun May 03, 2009 2:09 am

Oh i think we all have troubles with that first chapter. I read somewhere that a Literary agent would actually advise unpublished writers to scrap their first chapter and just jump right into the action.

Imagine how that would work for your book? First line - Vicky emerges from the fountain, strange book in hand "well don't think i'm in Virginia anymore" and you could just refer to her old life in passing?

Thats ^ me just giving a suggestion.

My advice is like you said - keep writing the story. you don't have worry about that first chapter until you've everything else done. and who knows you might add something that will pique interest, ' a murky shadow' or something. Who put the book in the park and Why would they leave for Vicky. you could hint at this maybe by giving vicky a strange sense of being watched?

Anyhooo, on this forum (its hidden) is a Share your work forum. We ask new people to apply (pm me) and you can get permission to see and post stuff (like your first chapter). Feel free to pm me and let me know.

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PostSubject: Re: the *novel*   Sun May 03, 2009 4:43 am

My advice would be to just keep what you've got at the moment, and come back to it later. It sounds like you already know you should do something like this, you're just having trouble with the actual doing. It might be hard, but try and just trust that you will be able to fix it later. Write the rest of the story. Then worry about the first chapter. Because I can almost guarantee that there will be other parts you aren't happy with first time.

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Number of posts : 9
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Job/hobbies : Not gainfully employed, but currently writing a fantasy novel. I enjoy reading and listening to music.
Humor : Two blondes walk into a bar. The brunette ducks.
Registration date : 2009-05-02

PostSubject: Re: the *novel*   Sun May 03, 2009 6:28 am

@Emily: I heard about the hidden forum from Novel, but I thought I remembered seeing somewhere that new users had to have a certain post count, so I was more worried about seeing what's in the forums I can already access. But thank you for the offer! I'll do that as soon as I'm done with the forums.

@Daeonica: That's what I intend to do. I haven't, yet, reread any of it, I'm just writing it down as it comes to me. I feel more confident about the rest of the novel because it's well outlined, and I know what I'm going to be doing, and there's going to be tons of new people and new places to see and introduce, so there's always going to be something going on that will be interesting to someone. Unlike the first chapter (at least, as it stands of this moment.)
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PostSubject: Re: the *novel*   Sun May 03, 2009 11:57 am

I was seriously toying with scrapping chapter one of tSotD when I was doing my edits. I had to prune a lot of it, but I kept it because it had several important things: an argument between my two main characters, one of my MCs having a vision of the future, and a lot of characterization. I had to tweak it a lot so it flowed right. My prologue happens seventeen years before the story, and jumping from that into chapter one was a bit of a shock until I tweaked it to make it obvious that, hey, this is actually related to the prologue.

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