Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The First Forty Pages

This is a picture of Fort Ridgely on the north side of the Minnesota River. The burning buildings are from an Indian attack. It is what's coming up next in Drums of the North Star.

Yesterday, I got to put in a solid two hours on the manuscript and have now plowed through the first 45 pages of writing. I felt as if I was gaining momentum as I wrote. This seems to be my M.O. It takes me thirty or forty pages to get my feet under me and find my direction.

My husband says it's because when I start a book, I have so many options I don't know which ones to choose. But as I begin whittling away at those choices and narrowing them down, the story becomes more focused and the action follows a more restricted framework. The characters must behave in ways consistent with past behavior, and the action is determined farther in advance. It is easier to see which way I'm supposed to go because I can see some of where I've been.

Yesterday felt so productive. Errands run, school taught, laundry done, words written...I was on top of my game. Until I realized at 10 pm that I'd forgotten my daughter's 8 am orthodontist's appt. Blah.


  1. Four out of five is pretty good!

  2. You had a productive day anyway--getting up to be ANYWHERE by 8AM has to rank up there with cruel and unusual punishment. At least you remembered the right day! LOL

  3. Wow. Your husband's explanation is resonates with me, and is probably the best I've heard for why it's so hard to start. I'm going through the same thing, but I'm only at page 30 or so.

    Judging by the picture, your book must be exciting!

  4. I, too, usually start writing with so many possibilities that I'm stimied at which way to go. Then one path becomes a little more clear and suddenly I'm off and running (or is that writing?).

    I'm thrilled you've gotten your momentum going! Are you participating in NaNo with this?

  5. Actually, I decided not to participate in NaNo this year. I knew I was having a hard time keeping up with the MUCH lower word count totals I set for myself already, so I knew NaNo would be impossible.

    That and the builders came to start the addition on the back of my house today. :) Woohoo!