Getting back on the horse …

Metaphorically speaking – it goes without saying. My 5 foot frame is not best suited to the equine community, my only experience being one at a stables with horsey friends, holding my nose and avoiding the steaming piles of horse manure.

So, back to business. Having been very inactive lately, both on the blog front and with my writing, I have decided to take the bull by the horns and immerse myself in a Novel Boot Camp for the month of July. I’ve spent too much time dilly-dallying with other stories that my primary novel has been sorely neglected. So, it’s back to the drawing board and time to get this manuscript finished – for once and for all. Plus, I can revive my blog by marking my progress with my manuscript.

Yes Sir! Left, Right, Left, Right …. Stop!

Chapter OneThe first lecture in bootcamp centred on cliché starts and the most common mistakes writers make in their first chapter.

As good a place as any to start methinks!

So here we go:

  1. Don’t start with your character waking up.  It might seem like a logical thing to have them do, but it’s overdone!   – With a smug grin on my face, I cry out – “Check! I haven’t done that!”
  2. Don’t start with a dream scene. Again overused and again –  I haven’t done that either.
  3. Don’t start with your character looking in a mirror, describing themselves. – Woo hoo, not me! I might have this writing lark licked – 3 out of 3 so far!
  4. Don’t start with your character running away from something – yippee, no siree – would I do that? Heaven forbid!
  5. Don’t start by describing the weather – doing the happy dance now (in my chair, of course!)
  6. Don’t start in the middle of an action scene, as the reader won’t know what is going on – 6 out of 6 now, I’m on fire! This book of mine is going to be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, if I say so myself!
  7. Don’t start with too much backstory – Oops! I may have spoken too soon. But then again, how do you measure where there is too much backstory? Am I making excuses? Possibly. Am I disgruntled? Definitely. Am I going to give up? Hell, no!

Obviously all of the points come with a detailed explanation of why you should not start your novel in these ways. My little list is just to convey my pretty rapid descent from that lofty pedestal of smug superiority that I called home, albeit for a very brief interlude. It was nice, while it lasted. But now, it’s work time!


If you’re interested in joining the bootcamp, follow this linkto-be-continued


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