Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Let’s Start At the Very Beginning. A Very Good Place to Start*

You heard from me last, confused and concerned about a last minute addition to a manuscript that has been patiently waiting for its missing piece. I’m happy to say that I discovered it, after thinking about it before I slept, obsessing over it all day yesterday, churning it around in my mind through a particularly grueling spin class, and babbling about it to Tyler over dinner. Never mind all the subconscious thought during the 3 months the manuscript slept, curled up in a little drawer.

I expect to make a lot of mistakes in my ‘first’ novel. And yesterday, I knew that the direction I was taking was a mistake. I was concerned that what I was doing didn’t fit and flow. It didn’t.

Like I said, I had a scene that didn’t fit anywhere but it was key to a secondary storyline. I mistakenly thought that scene was in the middle of the story arc and I tried, and failed, to make it work that way. As soon as I realized that the scene was actually at the very end of the story arc it became that literary lightbulb moment that left me writing late last night and even on the subway this morning.

I can only smile. Shake my head. Realizing that all of my mistakes come from forgetting the most basic rule of storytelling. Beginning. Middle. End…

*Maria Von Trapp, you’ve saved me once again…

Photo Credit


  1. Here's what I love about reading writer blogs: someone else gets as excited as I do about storytelling and finally figuring out a way to make something work! Glad you found the "follow through for your swing." Loved that image from your last post.

  2. It's funny when you have one of those "Wow, I should of had a V-8" momments, isn't it? I kept trying to write a query for a story that was written like a folktale, but it was original, but it couldn't an original folktale because well folktales are passed down for generations. One of my critique buddy says..."It reads like a folktale." I could have fallen off my chair. So simple...problem solved. I'm glad you solved yours, Melissa.

  3. How fun that you learned and shared a lesson about writing from The Sound of Music!