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Platform Building and Opening Scenes

All satisfying writing projects are alike; each terrible project is terrible in its own way. With apologies to Tolstoy, I am now at the beginning of two new writing projects. This is the first official post of the Café Epimetheus era on this site, where the focus is on writing about writing. I have also written the initial few pages of the new novel. Naturally, I’m seeing parallels between platform building and opening scenes.

I have resisted the urge, on both fronts, to lead with a massive info dump. There has to be a clean entry point for the reader, to make it clear what it is they’re reading. It has to be engaging enough that they’ll want to keep reading. It’s a matter of figuring out what needs to be said up front, which points can be teased for later, and how to pace the things you’re dying to tell.

Where platform building and opening scenes diverge is in their role and presentation. Every writing teacher in the world will stress the importance of hooking the reader. If that first chapter, first paragraph, first line is not perfect, readers will apparently storm your house with torches and pitchforks. The upside is that it doesn’t have to be done until the rest of the book it complete. I can go back and revise it until it’s just right.

The first post here is merely a brick in the wall. While I’d love for this to be the catalyst that draws in new readers, I understand its limits. It is the cumulative mass of a site, its consistency, utility, and collective entertainment value, that creates its gravity. There will continuously be new entry points. Some future subscriber may never see this post.

Platform Building and Opening Scenes

What’s important, on both projects, is that I am no longer facing a blank page and wondering what and how to write. It will take a while for me to find the voice I’m looking for. Reaching a comfort level, and a point where I’m satisfied with the work, will come eventually. The journey is what matters. I am doing it. You can’t polish something that doesn’t exist.


Progress Report: Day 2

  • Today is day 2 of 90 on my journey to write the first draft of a novel.
  • Yesterday I wrote 2,339 words, bringing the total to 2,339.
  • That puts me 1,739 words ahead of my target goal, based on writing 600 words per day.
  • I’m currently working on the second scene of the first act.

Notes

  • In case you missed the link buried in the text above, a synopsis of the novel can be found on the About the WIP page.
  • The book has a working title: Cold Sunset. I doubt that will stick, but it gives me something to refer to and name files.
  • My expectation is that I will get more than the goal word count of 600 word per day written on weekends. I don’t have as much on my plate.
  • The opening scene has all of the elements that I want it to have. It’s a matter of cleaning up the presentation. The content is solid, but the writing can be better.
  • I’m not entirely sold on this format for posts. This bottom section is a good idea, I think. It allows me to provide some background without resorting to excessive exposition.

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