writing tip #819:

struggling to write those first words? there’s a ‘start’ button on your keyboard for a reason. hit it repeatedly thrice a second while visualising your protagonist’s face and pushing your forehead against the screen for nineteen minutes, and the perfect opening will appear on the word processor of your choice


Seamus left his wife and child and sister behind in England and worked for the rest of the summer and into the harvest; his mother fretted to her daughters that she was afraid he would work himself to death. But at the end of the season, he finally had enough to buy a small plot of land. He took a factory job for the winter and, in March, sent for his family.

Little Daniel was a fat, happy child now; he still barely knew his father, and had whined and cried when they had left the estate on which he had been born and lived his whole life till then. But when, in Dublin, he was passed into his grandmother’s arms for the first time and showered with kisses and love, he kicked his chubby legs and squealed.

It was a long, bumpy journey to the west, but when at last Seamus handed his mother, sister, and his wife down from the cart, the sight was a beautiful one. The hills were just beginning to turn green again, and in the distance, they could hear and smell and see a sliver of the sapphire-blue sea.

He touched the small of Josephine’s back. “Welcome home,” he murmured in her ear.

Edit A Month W2: The Beginning

In the revision process, you are going to get stuck. You’ll get frustrated, you’ll want to quit. Books give off the illusion of being easy to write; their pages hiding the wounding, scarring process from plot to page, writing and rewriting it into the book it will become. It’s okay to admit that this is hard, but look at it this way; you have the tracks in place, you possess the masterplan. Some of those tracks are mislaid, others are bent and need hammering, but you can fix this, it just takes time.

Going into the job of fixing it can be just as hard as making it, so we’re going to look at where to get started. The last post was a bit massive in terms of what to do, so my goal for this post is to get more focused. Another thing I want to stress is that you’ll be rewriting more than once - it is inevitable, Young Skywalker - so I don’t want you to try too hard to fix everything, not just yet. The more overlaying problems you fix the first time around, the more tweaking you can do later. So let’s focus on:

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