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Story Openings and Re-writes

In another group, a writer put the opening of their book up for critique. During the discussion, the writer asked if a version of the opening written differently would be better. In the back and forth that followed, several opinions were proffered. One person said something along the lines of, “you’ll probably write other versions as you go. Write ten, maybe more. You need the practice. You’ve only written a few books.” 

That to me, seemed like great advice. I wish I would have gotten it a year or two ago. And perhaps, holds true for most important scenes. I have gotten advice that you should rewrite the opening using a different pov, tense, setting, etc. separately. But never the outright advice to rewrite it at least several times, so you will understand the world, the characters, etc. and fall into the narrator’s voice and view of the book’s world.

I have gotten the advice that to be a better writer, you need to write. And that you do need to rewrite. But never that much. I personally think that may be the best advice I have ever heard. You need to write every day. You need to write as much as you can. You need to get better at your craft. Give your world some depth, color, complexity. As Wayne mentioned the other day, wheels within wheels (plots within plots). 

Recently, I got a similar piece of advice. To write short stories featuring different main characters and settings from the novel. The characters and world have come alive for me in ways that writing the novel from the single 3rd person limited hasn’t allowed.

Going back to the novel is going to be a much richer and easier write, I think.

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