Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Magic of Starting from Scratch

"If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster." ~Isaac Asimov

So the other day I gave in to my itch to start working on a new One Night... book, One Night in Savannah. I have a basic outline (of course I do, I'm a plotter) and I really just wanted to tackle the first chapter and see what might happen. I think I'm getting better at figuring out where a book should actually start (don't laugh, it's taken awhile), and I thought I'd give you a peek at what I came up with.

Of course, this will probably change significantly by the time I finish (do you like the positive intention here?), but I liked what came out on the page, so here's part of it, just for kicks...

10:00 am

Ivy stared at the growing crowd of protesters six floors below the high rise’s window. “Shit.”
“Told you.”
“I didn’t think there’d be so many of them. So soon.”
“Would-a been better if we could have gotten you a spot on the morning news. In and out before seven.”
Ivy turned and wrapped both hands around her elbows. The air conditioning blasted through the green room, raising gooseflesh. “We didn’t want the news. The Hot Spot has the best ratings of all the talk shows. That’s what you said.”
Henrietta Clausen, literary agent, publicist, and one of Ivy Mandolin’s closest friend since college, grinned. “I know what I said. And that’s why they’re here. Those people down there wouldn’t bother unless you were the biggest name in the news right now.”
“I didn’t want to be big. That wasn’t why I wrote the book.”
Henrietta shrugged and stood to pour them both a second round of coffee. “I know. But it’s too late now.”
Ivy took another peek at the knot of people milling around 54th and Broadway. Some held signs. Others clutched small dolls. She knew if she looked closely, the dolls would all have blonde hair and blue dresses, symbolic of Katie-Ann Pierson the night she died.
“How worried should I be?”
Henrietta blinked bright green eyes and passed her client a mug. “Leave worry to me. And to Thomas.”
Thomas Manson. Fitting name, Ivy supposed. Outside the door of the green room stood her bodyguard as of last week, six-foot five and scowling. All muscle. All meanness. And the only thing that stood between her and a crazed protester.
“Think I have any fans down there? Or just haters?”
“Of course you have fans. Lots of people love your book.”
“I don’t know about ‘love.’”
“Well, they think you’re doing the noble thing, bringing out the truth after all these years. That’s close enough.”

I love the excitement of starting a brand new book. I love the magic, when the plot seems perfect and the characters spring to life and you have all kinds of energy to write your fingers off...until the sagging middle hits, of course.

But no thought of sagging middles today! Just the magic of starting from scratch -- as long as I can hang onto it, anyway...


Liz said...

Great start! Make the reader what to know more!

Marianne Arkins said...

I love new beginnings! But... I have to admit, your one character's name reminded me of Super-Reviewer Harriet Klausner, lol...

I'm glad you're starting another ON book -- since i have to wait for print to read them, it's torture if there are too many months in between!!