Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow sledding and first pages

Last night, as it snowed (and then sleeted), a first page came to me. This is usually what happens to me with new ideas. I "see" the first page and hear the dialogue, see the setting and characters. Now I have a YA novel beginning in my mind to write down. (If the page is "still there" in the morning, I write it down. If I forgot it or hate it in the light of day, I write down the premise and leave the rest alone.)

The thing is, the first page is the inspiration, the tone. I get the voice started for the entire novel even when the words and events of the beginning change. For Josiah's Orchard, the first chapter became the second chapter with a LOT of differences. In J.T.'s story, that first page was broken up into small pieces of backstory scattered throughout the first two chapters (although the first sentence remained). Fortune's first page ended up deleted in favor of something new. Despite all that, the original first page of every story is the most important because without it I'd have nothing to write.

This work isn't titled yet. I'm not even sure of the MC's name. But I do know I'm intrigued enough to work on this and see where it leads. If it goes well, it will be a sci-fi YA set in 2140. No flying cars, no "Jetsons". Instead, a lot of things rooted in today's culture that have altered humanity and life on earth. We'll see...

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