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The Joy Of Beginning A Novel

2 June, 2008

Yesterday, I started work on a new novel. Whilst I don’t want to talk about that novel specifically, it reminded me how much I love beginnings and starting work on something new. I enjoy planning too: setting out new worlds, getting to know my characters, working out a plot until everything fits together so well that I wonder if I really came up with it at all, or if I’m just relating a story that’s already happened. Even more than planning though, I love writing and beginnings are particularly exciting.

There is, after all, something exhilarating about staring at a blank page or screen, already knowing what you want to write. Knowing that your wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime idea is about to make it out of your brain and become real, hard words. Knowing that you’re about to write the best thing you’ve ever written. Knowing that, even if the end is still hazy, you’ll have worked it out before you get there and that just being along for the ride is going to be brilliant.

Of course, things don’t always turn out that way. Sometimes ideas shrivel up long before the end, or even after the first few pages. Sometimes the long, hard slog of completing a novel seems like it’s never going to end. At times like that, the excitement of the beginning, so long ago, becomes a very distant memory and you wonder why you ever thought writing a novel was a good idea.

For now though, I am able to revel in my beginning. Those first few pages seem so wonderful. They’re going to be the building blocks of a truly magnificent novel, or so I can hope. That is, I suppose, the best thing about beginnings. You have an idea, the freedom to develop it in any way you see fit and the genuine belief that everything is going to work out just right. That’s exactly how I feel right now. After all, I haven’t had time to get it wrong yet.

  1. 2 June, 2008 2:22 pm

    What a great attitude! Best wishes for the successful completion to follow such a wonderful beginning!

  2. 3 June, 2008 1:35 am

    Positive and motivational.

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