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( Jan. 20th, 2009 12:42 am)
Four revised opening chapters, I say, four.  I suddenly found it very difficult to get the characters moving.  They knew what they were supposed to do, but they refused to budge.  I had some ideas for the second section and really wanted to double up my GYWO wordcount for January so I could slack off another month, so I put the first chapters aside and threw myself into the new ones.  The plot opened up, the character's motivations shifted and what began as a pleasant idea for the book mutated into something byzantine, elaborate, all the threads knotted.  We'll see how long this lasts.

Then I flipped through the latest issue of Poets and Writers and found this poetry exercise from Kim Addonizio.  I like all six suggestions, but bought the magazine when I read about starting in the middle: "Write ten openings that begin in media res.  Think about setting up trouble and expectation.  After you've written them, study them to see if you make them more specific and/or create more tension.  Choose the three you like best and freewrite on each one for five minutes without stopping." 

I knew linear wouldn't work for me.  Dedicating myself to an ungodly wordcount for the year is all the structure my scoured brain can handle, but picking the plot up in the middle really changed the shape of the story.  Here are some of my favorite sentences from this week:

"It pulls him down and it's like watching an eclipse, mysterious, unsettling, unnatural but wholly beautiful like silver light on the branches."

"His skill is a dream carved from hashish and mare's milk."



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