Monday, April 18, 2016

Writing a Perfect Paragraph

Stalled – that’s where I am right now. I have written on this blog a few times in the last three months about having a finished book that I am editing. Well, I still am. I don’t like the first chapter and despite many fixings, it still does not seem to work. I like the story, think it’s a good one, but doesn’t every author think their story is a good one?

Something Just Does Not Seem to be Correct

The Problem 

This novel is set in modern times but has several flashback chapter to the 1800s. I wanted to write the first two chapters, one in the present and one in flashback. Chapter one started as the flashback with chapter two taking readers to the present. That didn’t seem to work, so I switched them. Now chapter one is in the present and chapter two sets the modern day story from an event in the past. This seems to work. The problem is that the first chapter is still not very strong. I am afraid readers will put it away before getting to the meat of the tale. That and the fact that readers looking at the free preview of the book will see this chapter, not great for sales.

Chapter one describes the two main characters, the setting and why they are there. To me, it reads like the age old, bad writing chapter - laundry list, of too many facts and not enough story.

Oh, What Should I Do?

The way I see it, I have three options, maybe four.

1.  Start the book with a scene that I now have later in the story. Might work, but this means a different type of flashback, and I am not sure I want that.
2.  Flip chapters one and two again – not happening.
3.  This will probably be it – rewrite adding a new action scene to drive the reader forward to the story.
4.  Who knows? Trash the chapter and let the reader figure out what is happening as they go. Not a bad idea, but seems confusing when I read it this way. Not likely I will use this one.

Number three is the option I will most likely take. I don’t like it because I have no idea how, or what, I will do with this. I will write it as soon as I am struck with some type of magical inspiration.

How Do I Choose One From So Many Options?

But I Do Have Another Project

On another note, I am well into my second Blade Holmes, Western Mystery, tentatively titled, Ghost Dance Moon. Presently the novel is 32,000 words, looks like about 60% complete. Yesterday I wrote a few lines and had to find my wife so that I could read the part to her, yes, I thought it was that good. Not sure if she agreed, but either she did or at least pretended that she thought it to be the beautiful literary, masterful writing, I believed it to be. 

That’s what writers live for, ahhh, the perfect sentence or paragraph, doesn’t happen often, but when it does – glorious!

A great scene should read like this photo - perfection

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