Finished Drafts and First Sentences
I finished the major revisions on Hole in the Coal-Black Sky last week and handed the manuscript off to my trusted editor (aka my wife). The text jumped from 74K to 81K words in the rewrite. My beloved beta-readers will have a new book to review soon.
This morning, I started work on the follow-up volume. It’s working title is The Prince of Elsewhere. My writing session this morning was a textbook illustration of the differences between spoken and written language, not to mention between visual intelligence versus the verbal. In my head, I tend to tell stories visually, with the occasional snippet of verbiage becoming audible amongst the images. Last night, as I drifted off to sleep, I could see the first chapter and even hear snippets of text. But, sitting down this morning, I ran into the ever-present neurosis that is the construction of the first sentence — those first words that set the tone and unbar the gates of the story.
I spent and hour writing and deleting and writing and deleting and growling and writing until I had something that approximated the image in my head and threw the floodgates wide. I was struck by how different the language I hear in my head and the language I read on a page actually are. If you’ve ever tried to learn a new language with Rosetta Stone, that lesson comes home very quickly. But, to watch the same phenomenon play out in your native tongue is a different experience entirely. Bridging that gap somehow will be the key to preventing the eventual insanity that can be induced by the first draft.