Saturday, September 13, 2008

What? Make It the Beginning?

We had an interesting time at our monthly writers’ meeting this morning. The agenda for the meeting was to offer each other critiques on two pages that anyone wanted to submitted. Five of us were brave enough to do it, though two of them ended up sick and couldn’t come. (If you want to be a writer, you have to learn to accept input and even criticism from others, so this was a good practice opportunity.) Of the nine of us present, at least three were published authors.

The two pages I chose were a scene with an emotional conflict between two main characters (twenty-year-old girls). Near the end of the scene, one of the girls hauls off and slaps the other one because of something she said. The scene ends with the slapped girl saying caustically, “All I’ve got to say is, you’d better not cause my brother any more grief!”

Since I hadn’t offered any background with the two pages, those reading it didn’t know what had gone before or that the scene comes about eighty pages into the book. Imagine my surprise when the group liked the scene so well that they thought it should be the beginning of the book! We discussed it around for several minutes, and I said I’d think about it.

And I have. It is just possible that, after all this time and all the work I’ve put into the first quarter of my story, I am going to need to restructure at least that much of it.

As you can imagine, you will be hearing a lot more about this.

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