Had a difficult time sleeping last night. Finally turned on the bedside lamp at 4:30, opened my laptop, and started writing. I wrote first opening paragraphs of Chapter 1 for “The Wythes”.
Chapter 1: Family Secrets is where the story begins. Phineas Myles is the official narrator of the saga. His voice rings true and it is his curiosity regarding the deepest, darkest family secret that propels the action and storyline of the novel.
Luckily for me, the story just comes out of the darkness and pops up on my laptop screen. I don’t worry about exact correctness in the narrative flow or perfect sentence construction. I just let the story come out and tap out the words as fast as I can. Rewriting and revisions can always be made later.
After writing the first few opening paragraphs to get the story going I then just write “scenes”. For example: Scene: Describe Wythe’s End and the grounds or Scene: Introduce the family members one by one. The structure of the novel is almost like a screenplay in that the characters don’t have to be introduced slowly in the course of the first few chapters, the first one hundred pages, etc.
This is a close knit family that live together and are best friends so it makes sense to just “introduce” them in a one fell swoop in a clever way.
Having written the opening paragraphs is all I need to remember the voice I want to use to tell their story. The humor, twists and turns, secrets, discoveries will pretty much come as the story is told. It just does. I don’t think, as a writer, you can force humor. If something isn’t funny, it isn’t funny. Period.
It’s peace of mind for me to have written scenes and lines that I did not want to forget. So, when I can’t sleep, I live the story in my head, and write the scenes down.
End of story.