Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Cleaning your Brain

Today it finally dawned on me that I need to get rid of a lot of stuff that has been cluttering up my mind. It's not all rubbish but it's just not useful to me anymore, if it ever was.

I am going to start with all the writer's advice online that claims they have the sure fire way to write a book that will:
1)grab an editor's attention and lead to that fab book deal of your dreams
2)be a surefire bestseller
3)prove you are a good writer and not some hack like those people with millions of books in print and a huge readership.

Right now the buzz topic is the first page - a while back it was the first sentence - and how you have to basically perform magic on the first page and all short of that is unworthy. Then writers who I assume are a-ok and certainly have some books to their names proceed to tell us how to do that. Here's what not to do (no prologue, no weather, no introspection, no action, no dialog whatever), here's what you have to do (make reader care from the first syllable, get setting, character backstory, tone of book, emotion, action, hooks, cure diseases, share secrets of great wealth in the first sentence, first page).
Rarely do they recognize that many, many well reviewed and mega selling books don't do these things, so they do not study HOW these books work w/o the benefit of their quick tip list for how to write a first page. Not all books are the same and not all readers want the same thing.

First page anxiety has me frozen. The stupid thing is the advice is being pushed by writers I don't read or actually respect in a big way (not saying they don't deserve respect, saying they are not my cuppa and not one of the ones who is inside my head has a big enough career for me to say - well, they must KNOW what they are doing). So it has to go.

Out the window.

It feels a little roomier in here already!

I will write the first page and then the next and then the next and then....