So I was going through my critiques for my first chapter, as I’m trying to edit it enough to submit to a few contests–and I got one crit that said the beginning started too late.
This makes me giggle a bit as the last draft I wrote I started it way too early. Anyway, it was only one crit out of half a dozen that said that. Still, I decided to try and rewrite a new beginning, following this person’s suggestions.
This person suggested I start it right as Naomi’s mother was dying…I’ve done this once before and it seemed cliche to me. I rewrote it again and guess what? It still sounds overused.
To me, it’s similar to the whole beginning where the person has a dream and wakes up, etc. I could be wrong though. I did see what this person was saying, although now I’m not sure how to do it. I did rewrite it with a deathbed scene but…meh. It doesn’t work and I think I’m going to ignore it. I may input some info in as a brief flashback but that’s it.
Anyway, what do you feel about deathbed openings? What are some other cliched openings that you can think of?
The contest winner over on Nathan’s blog has been chosen. Congrats to Natalie! I voted for hers because it was the most unique (in my opinion) and catchy.
I also discovered one of the likely reasons mine did not place (and I kind of thought this before I entered the contest too).
It fell into a prevalent, and often predictable, pattern–the weather pattern 😛
Unfortunately, I tend to use this one way too often–I’ve even been told so by my critique group. One of the most difficult things for me is starting a scene. It always starts slow–either because I’m using the often cliched weather description or it just isn’t catchy enough. Of course, I’ve been told after the first paragraph or two, it jumps into action and gets pretty good, but I’ve got to work on the starting part.
So, when the book is finished and I start the revision process, I have to focus on (among other things) perfecting my beginning paragraph, whether it’s for the book or for the scene. I believe this may also fall on the outlying regions of setting the mood and description–the latter which I always have problems with too. If a book could be all dialogue, I’d do wonderful since I think it’s one of my stronger areas. But alas, that would make for a very dull book 😛