Friday, February 15, 2013

Nobody but Nobody

Nobody, but nobody casts an imaginary Humpy through anything.  And the operative word with your nothing-but-net jumper is imaginary.  But man I do get it about beginnings.  There are so many ways to start any given story and at some point we have to just go ahead and do it.  The beginning we start with may end up in Chapter 3, but we have to get going.  One thing I always try to get across to new writers is the value of so-called errors.  Humans are a trial-and-error species that refuses to celebrate errors.  We call them mistakes.  We call them sins.  We beat ourselves up for making them.  How crazy is that?  The staple for learning is vilified.  Those mistaken beginnings (as well as the mistaken transitions and the characters and plot lines that don't work) are what tell us the way to go.  Half of knowing what is, is knowing what isn't.  We have to try things to see if they'll really work.  That's also a reason to let a trusted reader, or listener, see or hear our works in progress.  We often need someone else to tell us the error of our ways.  I'm playing with a character for my next novel who simply appears on the scene in the first chapter.  Even he isn't sure where he came from or why he's in this place.  I love the character but I need rules for him and those rules will make themselves clear as I put him in situations.  You, Mr. Chuck, will have the honor, such as it is, to give me feedbag.  I mean feedback.  Feedbag is easy for you; feedback maybe takes a little more focus.

So drop everything you're doing and watch your email. 

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