Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Finding the Flow

Whenever I start a new book, there is always a question of whether it will get written or not.  I don't know about other writers, but I have to at least get to the third chapter before I know the book will get finished.  Sometimes I write a chapter or two and the story dies out.  Why?  What am I searching for?

For a long time I wasn't sure about the answer.  Now I think I know.  It's simple.  I am trying to find the Flow of the piece, the voice that will carry me from the beginning to the end.  Sometimes no matter how hard I try I cannot find the voice that I'm searching for.  After rewriting the beginning several times, I will give up because it doesn't 'sound' right.  I don't know if this makes sense to anyone else.  Maybe other writers don't have a problem with this. 

I am currently working on a book about a female hunter.  I've started it more than twenty-five times with a variety of scenes.  None of them worked.  It takes a while for me to get into the character's head.  In this particular story, Jessica has been through a lot.  She's on the run from monsters with only her uncle to lean on.  She has been moved again and again from home to home over the years.  It's kind of like she's under the Witness Protection Program.  Her last name and background story changes with each move, and she has to memorize it.  It's a hard life.  Then last year her boyfriend died, and it was her fault.  That's a lot to have on her shoulders.  So getting into her head was not easy.

But I think I've finally done it.  After several weeks of straining to find the perfect way to begin the book, it just came to me.  She walks into the classroom, thinking the Biology test she's about to think is her biggest problem of the morning.  Then she sees the chalkboard.  Someone has written 'Thou shalt not kill.'  It's like a taunt.  She realizes someone knows about her.  So how does she feel?  What does she do?  Answering these questions got me into the flow of the story.  I think it's going to work out now.

Does anyone else have a problem starting a new book?  Is it easy for you?  Do you have a ritual that you perform to get started?  Please share with us.  Happy writing!

1 comment:

Patricia Lynne said...

I usually have an easy time starting the book, it's the ending that always gets me. Sometimes a new idea pops in my head and I get too excited about that and abandon what I'm working on. Other times I just struggle through to the end because it's never as picture clear as the beginning for me.