Thinkin’ on Thursday: Starting Over — in the Middle!

Easy as A, B, C . . . from BB

Just after the first of the year, Brian Klems (on‑line editor for The Writers Digest) threw out a quote by Joyce Carol Oates: “The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.” I sort of nodded in affirmation and moved on. Only later did I really start to think about it. I’ve written here before that I am now more convinced than ever (note: that was well after the succinct Oates quote should have given me pause for thought) that I should start writing and write to the end before letting anyone read, comment or critique what I have.

Now, if I could just convince myself to do it, instead of rewriting the first chapter, then writing a little more; rewriting the first three chapters, then writing a little more; rewriting the first 5 chapters, then writing a little more. As a result, I’ve covered the south end of my dining table with two Girl Scout cookie boxes (they’re the perfect size for filing) — full of papers, and a pile of 4 full loose leaf folders, the contents of which are critiqued, or not, and include multiple versions of several chapters, on my “current” WIP. When the boxes were full, I just piled more on top of them. Well, only a little more. About three inches worth. Each.

Oh, I have written the last chapter. And I love it. I just wish the eight or so before it were finished too!

What was I thinkin’?

Well, I guess I wasn’t. Thinkin’. Fortunately I went to the WIFYR class taught by Cheri Pray Earl: The Muddled Middles. Well, mine wasn’t exactly the middle — but pretty close.

I am going to start over . . . on chapter 17 (or whatever it happens to be). Again. I’ll fill in that gap in the story. Then I’ll examine everything, one chapter at a time, beginning to end. Then I’ll write (or rewrite) Chapter 1.

DONE ! ! !

See you next on Saturday’s Spellbinder!


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