Monday, May 17, 2010

How do things develop?

What's the deal with every agent under the sun requiring book to begin with extreme action or plot conflict within the first couple of pages?

What happened to those wonderful books that eased us into the scenery and wove us through the complexities of history all the while keeping us wondering what delicious disaster was about to erupt? Am I the only one who enjoyed those books? Has even the world of readers been stymied by the age of computer games and instant gratification? Am I the only reader willing to read background and setting description before I get to the meat? I certainly hope not.

I have been agonizing over how to rearrange my WIP so as to infuse excitement into the first few pages (just to please Joe-agent) when I don't truly believe the action belongs there. The story develops slowly and temptingly...after all isn't that usually how things DEVELOP? Does anything really develop in a hurry? Hmmm...if I think of things that develop - butterflies, young bodies, the brain, our understanding of mathmatics (which continues to elude me) - nothing develops in the rapid fashion that the current publishing and reading world says they desire.

Personally I'm about to throw it all to the wind and continue to write the way that comes naturally to me. I'm tired of writing toward a group of people I don't even know in hopes they buy into my style. My style is my style and perhaps I just need to believe in it a bit more. So my "conflict" is going back to page 25 where, frankly, I believe it belongs!


  1. Hi Johanna! Thanks for following my blog. This issue is one that has tormented me too a lot lately. It's been hard for me to figure out what is "back story" and what is "THE story". And when I tried to start my WIP off with a big bang, it felt all wrong.
    I finally started the story where I really think it starts, and that took a long time for me to figure out.

    Good luck with your WIP! I'm sure it'll work out great, since you are listening to your instinct and writing the story that comes from your heart.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Lydia. Since when did being creative become so, well, not creative?

  3. I think it's just a fashion. My son (15) was commenting a few weeks back about how he couldn't believe the way The Count of Monte Cristo started off with so much description before actually telling you what was going on.

    I think these things change over the years.