"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Beginning a New Story

“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” – Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith
We all know the beginning of any story is commonly accepted as the most important portion of the tale. This beginning must “hook” the reader’s attention, set the tone of the story and suggest where your main character is headed.
A writer experiences many beginnings in their craft; the birth of a new idea, first outline or draft, a first critique, first submission and first rejection of that piece.
Knowing all of this, in 1987 William Brohaugh, editor of Writer's Digest, collected first-person pieces from the magazine by better and lesser-known writers about the problems of their profession, from finding sources of inspiration to coping with publishers.
The title of this anthology comes from Red Smith's observation on the ease of writing. These 37 essays are written by writers, for writers. Topics include suggestions on how to begin and end stories, getting royalty checks and researching.
The acknowledgement page "honors all writers who take the risk of revealing themselves on paper, and who discover themselves in the process."  This anthology is a treasure for anyone interested in a new beginning.

21 comments:

Bish Denham said...

Sounds like a great book to read.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Sylvia, you are so right. I just started blogging in January and I find that the beginning of the story is always the most difficult part. Then it is like opening a vein where the ideas come flowing. Looking forward to seeing you throughout the A-Z Challenge. Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sylvia .. beginnings can always be tricky - but certainly that's what draws you in and keeps us there .. - good analogy .. thanks for visiting my blog ... Hilary

Áine Tierney said...

Beginnings are scary - so no wonder writing can be so scary with so many beginnings. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Melissa Bradley said...

Hi Sylvia I'm glad we connected through A to Z. This is a thoughtful and excellent post. I will have to find this because it sounds inspiring.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll have to look for that book.
Hope you're enjoying the A to Z Challenge!

Judy Harper said...

Yes, getting the "hook" is so important! Though I find following equally challenge! Finding enough words to lead to an ending. Very interesting post. Especially the information on William Brohaugh.

Amy Wood said...

I'll definitely add it to my must read list!
Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to following you during this A-Z journey!

Kari Marie said...

This sounds like a really cool book. Thanks for highlighting it.

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Hi Sylvia, thank you for letting up know about this anthology. Not only did I find your blog, but I learned something in the process. :)

~ that rebel, Olivia

Ciara said...

Sounds like a great book. I'm a follower now. I hope you are enjoying the A-Z challenge. :)

Pk Hrezo said...

Hi Sylvia! Nice to meet you during our A-Z challenge. :)

Murees Dupé said...

I still fear writing the first few chapters. I can never get the hook quite right. Thank you for stopping by and following my blog.

Anastasia V. Pergakis said...

Great post for the AtoZ challenge! I wrote about beginnings also, but a different slant, instead talking about how to WRITE a good beginning to your book/chapter. I'm going to go look up this book right now! Thanks for the recommend.

Karen Walker said...

Love this post. And it's so nice to find you thru the a-z challenge. Looking forward to connecting more and this goes on.
Karen

Sommer Leigh said...

Sylvia-

This is a great post and I was excited to find it because last night at like, 1am, I was bouncing around reading A to Z bloggers and came across a blog called "The Open Vein" by E.J. Wesley whose blog is named from the quote by William Brohaugh. You should check out his blog :-)

http://the-open-vein-ejwesley.blogspot.com/

Marjorie said...

Really cool!

RaShelle said...

Love the quote by: Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith. I have a vein open right now and it's bleeding profusely.

KjM said...

This is an excellent use of this challenge. I will keep watch out for that book.

Best wishes to you as we journey through April.

Cruella Collett said...

Not a bad idea (the book, I mean). I think that writing strong beginnings is even more important in our age of digital books. When I browse for titles on my Kindle I will download the free samples without hesitation, but if those first pages don't convince me, I won't buy the book. With paper books, however, I frequently let myself be lured in by a handsome cover or a good jacket review. And once I've bought the book, it's a lot more likely I will actually read it someday (and often I find that books I wouldn't have bought on my Kindle due to a weak beginning, I love when it gets going)

So a strong beginning is key!

Madeleine said...

Superb post! I've not heard of this book before :O)