Sunday, February 17, 2008

Something to Think About

“We come back to the same people to learn something about how we have changed. We want to be assured that we have changed—that we are different and better and older and thinner and wiser and cooler. We want the maps of ourselves to paint different.”

This is something I wrote almost exactly two years ago. It began as something very true, and then it became a scene in my novel. Which then became something quite different.

Recently some YA writers have been posting first lines. The first line of the first draft of a novel and then, the final first line. This had me thinking about the places where stories begin. For me PERMANENT INK started as another story altogether. And then one day I was thinking too much. And I wrote the lines at the top of this entry. And a new character came to life. And he belonged in this old story. And suddenly, then, it had this brand new breath and fury. The first line for me is sometimes at the end or in the stomach of the story. It’s never the actual first line. It’s the line I write that makes me go, oh, that’s it. I’ve got it. And then I can’t stop writing.

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