Tuesday, April 19, 2011

First Paragraphs

Thanks be I read about first paragraphs on one of the blogs I follow. When I find the one it was, I'll insert the link but as so often happens, I read am inspired and forget to hit the + to add the page to my favourites. Hence I'm having to re read my whole history. For which I don't have any time set aside.

Yes, I was reading about first paragraphs. Being reminded what they need. Revising what I know. That's very necessary sometimes. I tend to get into a space writing writing writing where I forget the meat and just write the bread. My turn of phrase is good but I forget to crank the handle that tightens the suspense. Or I start into the second novella with Srese, the protagonist, and I have her doing all her stuff but never thinking why.

A first paragraph, of any length of story, I think, needs to introduce the main protagonist. These days, anyway. I do recall reading two or three paragraphs of setting before the protagonist made it onto the page. Olden days books, I'm sure.

Second, and this was the reminder I got, the central problem or conflict of the story needs to be introduced. Well, so, I put Chapter One, version A aside. Started again. Here it is, the beginning of Chapter One, version B.

Srese stopped running as she entered what was once her favourite lane. She approached the spanish garden holo slowly, glancing sideways and through the electro-magnetic flock wall. Good. There were none of Gammy's steel minions in the passage hidden behind the flock wall. She shivered at the thought that one day they might grab hold of her. Because of what she planned.

The Lane glowed with the daytime part of the light spectrum as if a crowd had gathered. A sure sign, Srese thought critically, that the gammy computer running the habitat was falling down on his job. Because who was here apart from herself? No one, which was good because she was in the mood for baiting him and finding out his deepest secrets. Her most dangerous project. And maybe freeing her community from his hold.

That's it. Two paras for the price of one.

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