Sunday, March 22, 2009

Beginnings (Part II)

This is Part II of my thoughts about beginnings. The most important thing about a beginning to me is it is a promise. What kind of promise? Let me do some quick snaps. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, we find Harry under the stairs of the Dursleys. He's all alone without a true family. In the end of the series we have Harry with a family. Yay, a promise keeper. In Charlotte's Web, Wilbur's life is on the line, Fern's daddy has the axe, and in the end, yes, Wilbur's saved. E. B. always kept his promises. And one last one, in Kathi Appelt's book, The Underneath, we are promised that the injustice to a poor cat is going to be set right. Kathi kept her promise. A first chapter is one that makes a promise. We usually know the promise by the end of the first page.

I will be honest, often times I have to write the whole book before I truly know what promise I'm making. So here's something to chew on, if you are rewriting that first chapter for the tenth time and you still only have thirty pages of manuscript or so. It's time to write the book. You are never going to write that first chapter until you get to the end of the book. You probably don't even know what you are promising and that's why you can't figure out that first chapter. If you have written the book, you need to look at that end make sure that the last chapter is a fulfillment of the promise that happens in that first one. Funny stuff happens on the journey of telling a story, you start out telling one story but end up telling another. Got to rewrite the beginning then.

So today we have some homework. What have you promised? Have you promised it on the first page? (Hint, hint, if the promise is on page 12, that's really your beginning.) Do you keep your promise?

Hope you check back next week for the next one in my series.

My doodle this week is "Noah's Ark". This story is all about a promise that God made to Noah. Hope you enjoy it.

Today's playlist is "Happy Ground" by Pete Murray. I hope that you are standing on happy ground. :)

My quote for the week:
Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans. It is lovely to be silly at the right moment. Horace


holly cupala said...

Excellent series, Molly! I love that concept of promise and fulfillment in stories. Sometimes I find I've made a promise in the first chapter and don't even realize it until I get to the end, where it comes back and taps me on the shoulder. I love that.

MollyMom103 said...

Thanks for checking out my series, Holly. That idea of a promise is really part of life. Each of us is a promise and our journey is fullfilling that.

BTW, I love your promises and fulfillments.

:) Molly