Let’s start with a confession: I don’t like beginnings. I don’t like to start anything — being a goal-oriented woman of action, I far prefer to be in deep, or done. So here I am, on October 7, launching two major inititiaves on the very same day: a new book and a new blog.
Feel me writhe outside of my comfort zone.
First the blog. I’ve guested here and at other blogs numerous times, and love to opine for a few paragraphs, then enjoy the very best day-long distraction: checking the comments. As for blogging on a regular, full-time basis, I’ve always said no, never, not for me. Too much of a time sucker, writing that isn’t *writing* and, honestly, how long do you think it’ll be until I say somethingthat gets me in trouble, alienates a reader, or reveals an insanely personal tidbit….and there it is on the internet forever and a day? Stick around, it shouldn’t take long at all.
But how could I say no? First, this is one of my very favorite blogs, full of good friends and lovers of our genre, all brought together to discuss and dissect two of my favorite things: wine and shoes writing and reading. Plus, Karin Tabke and Allison Brennan, my co-antho authors and two of my dearest pals, did the asking, and I take every chance I can to hang, cyberwise or in person, with those two. Finally, the infusion of even more writers, the launch of a gorgeous new look, and the opportunity to share cyberspace with nine remarkably talented and cool writers…well, it wasn’t a difficult decision to make. In fact, I think Karin’s finger was still on the “send” key and she had my answer. YES!
So, thank you Karin, Allison, and ALL of the MSW ladies for the invitation to join this new era of your adventure! Even thought I don’t like beginnings, I’m pretty psyched about this one, and am honored to be on the MSW roster.
Now my other beginning: the new book. I turned one in last week (HUNT HER DOWN, to be released summer 2009) and am about to start MAKE HER PAY, scheduled for release in fall 2009.
If you ask me the one thing I hate most to write, the answer would be simple: Chapter One. I absolutely loathe the beginning of a book. Frankly, I don’t even like the beginning of any chapter or any scene. But page one, be it a prologue or chapter one, is sheer hell for me. I’ve stopped deluding myself that I “plot” — I do create a brief outline but when all is said and written, that outline bears little or no resemblance to the finished product. I won’t lie and tell you I know my characters before I start. I discover them as the reader does, through their words, actions, and introspection, and far too many times they shock, stun, and amaze (and infuriate) me. I’m lucky if I know the identity of the villain (known to change mid-book) and even luckier if I have a clue to his or her motivation, so please forget the black moment, major turning points, or who might be a red herring. I learn as I go, painful as that may be.
And I’ve done this twenty three publishable times (and one that sleeps with the dustbunnies under the bed). Today, when you are reading this blog, some of you meeting me for the first time, others probably rolling their eyes thinking ‘oh there she goes about hating chapter one again,’ — I will be right there. Page one. Scene one. Line one.
Imagine me, then, leaning over the cliff, so far that my pink-tipped toes are curling around the edge, the wind strong enough (or the deadline close enough) to shove me over, nothing but 400 pages of freefall and churning black waters below.
I hate it, I tell you. Hate the blank page, the unwritten book, the undeveloped characters, the untold story. I love, on the other hand, snapping the keys on that lovely last line, the bad guy dead, the romance in bloom, the theme clear, the work….done.
How about you? Do you prefer the thrill of the unknown, the glorious anticipation of the unwritten story…or is that a leap of faith you’d do anything to avoid? What’s your personal philosophy for any new project, whether it’s writing a manuscript, remodeling a house, or molding a man into the one you want? Do you like the excitement of the beginning…or prefer the contentment of the end?
Come on, friends. Give me a distraction. Anything to avoid Chapter One.