On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

First Chapters

Image hosting by PhotobucketI think I've mentioned that these can be tough for me. It seems every one out of four or so can have me tearing my hair out...and this is hard because I'm selling on proposal -- first three chapters (or first chapter) and synopsis.

I think a good rule of thumb is to revise a couple of times and move on to the book, keep the momentum going, the idea fresh in your head, the love of the story going.

I HAVE revised a lot, sometimes, Sorceress of Faith and the contemporary paranormal I'm working on in particular. Sorceress of Faith was done at the request of my editor to flip the opening from Lladrana and the hero to Earth and the heroine and I got off to many "wrong" starts finding something that would work, for Marian (and I can use these on my WORLDS page of my website, next month ;) )

Another technique is to write the whole book and THEN go back and rewrite the first chapter to hook hard into the story and reflect (set up) the growth of your characters and the conflict...

Sometimes first chapters, and whole chunks of the first part of the book, is written just to clarify the characters and the story in your (my) mind, and you (I) finish the draft and go back and carve out what we wrote to learn about the story and save it in our notes...

In any event, sometimes first chapters flow well for me rough -- I've had that happen recently with Heart Match and Heart Fate (a couple of nights ago -- Tinne Holly's story). So I was high on writing...

Anyway today I go to get plotting ideas for Heart Match so I can craft the selling synopsis (which may not be the actual synopsis of the book because they change...)

May you be able to release old ideas of a story today and just write.


Blogger Crystal Jordan said...

Tinne Holly's story? *gasp* You're actually writing it? Like, right now? Yeay!! Go, Robin, go!

7:54 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Crystal, I'm working on the first chapter for the proposal, and making notes...it's book 2 down the line.


7:39 AM  
Blogger Jeri said...

First chapters are the worst. I've only had one experience where the beginning coalesced perfectly--perfect first line, first scene--without changing it radically on a rewrite.

It's hard, because you want to just plunge in and get something down, but when it's the beginning, you know it affects everything else down the line.

You could try writing a different scene first. I once started a novel by writing the climax. Then I went back to the beginning and worked my way forward. When I reached that climactic scene, it was easy to drastically rewrite it. Rewriting a beginning is a lot harder, IMO, especially when you do it for a proposal. You polish it to perfection for the submission, then have a hard time reimagining it later.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Well, I took Heart Match to the critique group and everyone liked it! Tweaked it a bit later, and I think I'll do a different 2nd scene (hero's) and move what I have currently to later, but I was pretty durn pleased.

4:20 PM  

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