Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Elbow Grease

So I’m putting some elbow grease into the first chapter of Fivers for some upcoming critique opportunities at this and this. Pretty excited, but does anyone else have a hard time with beginnings? I’ve started and restarted this beast so many times. Here are just four examples of four different first lines: 
  • Meidun’s aggressive sprawl zigzagged downhill from the massive fortress above, the colorfully decked-out lanes bulging with festival goers.

  • Escape smelled like sour ale and skewered rat meat.

  • The steep stairway leading up to the large terrace above doubled as a directory for the Pearl District, with multiple shops and ads stenciled onto any open stone-face available.

  • Eliza ducked out of the hired carriage and paused, her totem senses humming.
original link

Why is it that first step out the door is always the hardest? (Gotta run back in, forgot my phone; it’s actually kind of cold out here so I should grab a jacket; my list isn’t in my pocket so where did I leave it? Keys, anyone?)



  1. Oof. Starts are the worse. I usually write something dreadful just to hold the place until I'm done and can go back and fix it. I really like your second one: "Escape smelled like soured ale and skewered rat meat." An economy of words, powerful image, and an idea of what we're getting ourselves into. Love it. I want to read the story that follows it.
    (And now I'm also wondering about the origins of "elbow grease".)
    Work it.

    1. Haha, I did the same thing as soon as I put the title to this post in.

      Also. Thanks for the feedback and I might send this first chapter your way before the critiques come up -- are you amenable to this?

  2. "Escape smelled like soured ale and skewered rat meat." is still my favourite. But I know what you mean, I hate introductions they never come easily.

    1. Yes! Exactly! Those intros are killer *sigh*

      Good feedback. I'm sending this your way too whether you like it or not ;)

  3. I wrote the start of my last novel ages before anything else, and kept going back to it like a kind of mission statement. It was hard to do, but it did make the next step a bit easier!

    1. Why does writing have to be so hard? *small whimper*


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