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Topic: Beginnings (05/31/04)
TITLE: Where Do I Start? By Wendy D.
By WENDY DECKER
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Anyway, isn’t that what writers do? We pretend to be someone else and write about that someone as if it were ourselves; or we pretend to be someone else so we can write about us!
I’m not only a write-a-holic; I’m also an out-of-order writer. Now that sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Let me explain.
I’m a writer who wrote a book, then joined a writer’s critique group and then started taking a writing class. Don’t most people learn to write first, then write and get critique, and then write a book?
Actually, now that I think about it, I think the critique group could fit in anywhere, it’s been invaluable.
Anyhow, things were going quite well considering the chronological line-up of my resume. Then I got a little too confident and took my focus off the very person who inspired me to initiate this project in the first place. The first place— Gee that sounds familiar.
In the beginning was God. God gave me an idea, but I veered off onto my own path and stopped seeking Him for guidance. Just when I thought my book, or really, manuscript was complete, I found out that my middle needed to be my beginning and my beginning somewhere in between.
The fact is that send button is just a press away, and I am as impatient as the character I write about. So, I put my little finger on that button, held my breath and sent my manuscript to the in-box of a literary agent that gave me the above-mentioned advice.
Fortunately, I didn’t press it too many times and squander anymore precious contacts for the future. Luckily, she offered me advice and not just a form letter.
The irony to this story is that one of the exercises in my first writing lessons was to write a page then take the middle out and move it to the beginning. But I had already written the book before doing this lesson and forgot to go back and apply this technique to my story.
Needless to say, quite often writers spend too much time setting the story instead of jumping right into it. Advice to remember!
In essence, I had to go back to the beginning to finish the end all over again. See what happens when you press before prayer!
I am about to push the send button again, but am hesitant this time. I wish my computer had a device that said, “are you sure you want to send this story? Don’t you want to look at it just one more time? Don’t you want to let it sit awhile like your friend told you should? But it doesn’t, so here goes!