Monday, March 18, 2013

In Which I Incite An Incident

So class has been going great. Week three was when it really stepped into high gear. We had the first critique session, and guys, it was so awesome. Everyone had such great feedback for the writer. I'm really hoping that I get such helpful critiques as well.

My 20 pages are up tonight. My first 20 pages on All That Remains. Because I'm kind of struggling with the beginning. I mean, I like it, I want to hope that it's actually okay, but I worry that it takes too long to get to the inciting incident.

The issue is that in order for the II to make sense or carry the weight it needs to carry, there has to be some understanding of the relationship between the MC (Lea) and her BF (Val) and their families.
If you don't have that, then yes, the II is terrible. But if you do have that, then the II has deeper impact. (aaaaaand just like that I want to watch the movie Deep Impact.)

So,hence my struggle with the opening. I'm hoping the critique will either put my mind at ease, or confirm that my suspicions are correct but also help me generate ideas on how to fix it.

How's March coming along for you? Are you revising? Drafting? Querying? Tell me all about it!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Beginnings are such a struggle. The first line always kills me.

Maria Zannini said...

When I read the blog title, I thought, oh Lord, what has Sarah done now. And why haven't I seen it on the news yet?


Matthew MacNish said...

I kept thinking you were saying II (like 2), but then I finally realized you meant the Inciting Incident. I really am that thick sometimes, sorry.

Anyway, I'm trying to finalize all my notes so I can begin drafting the next thing.

Summer Frey said...

It's funny, because I had the same worries about MY All That Remains. :) In order for the ending to mean anything, all the beginning set up had to happen, even if it was slow...

You know I liked it, but I hope your class will give you some fresh insight!

mshatch said...

Ah the inciting incident! They're such fun to come up with and write...I am currently in the middle of my current wip. I hope you get some great feedback, too :)

Catherine Stine said...

Those first ten to twenty pages are so very hard. When I'm stumped I lie down and do a meditation, which almost always helps. I let the images come to me, like it's a film playing in my head.
As for me? I am working on the very last chapter of a novel that has taken me a year and a half!!!!

Hannah Kincade said...

I feel like I'm okay with beginnings, but crap at everything else.

Southpaw said...

I'm beginning the think the the beginning of the story is an ever evolving place.

Rena said...

Oh yeah, i have that problem with inciting incidents.
I find that I spend way too much time doing this that or the other, but when I cut to the chase everyone says "Wait, we needed that stuff!"


Good luck!

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Lola Sharp said...

(stupid spammers)

Okay, so many things:

A) Like Matt, I too thought (for a split second) the II meant 2.

B) I think Southpaw said something incredibly profound and deep...and true (for me). It IS an ever evolving place.

C) If you need the set up, then can you have smaller inciting incidents earlier, to satisfy both your needs and fears? And THEN the bigger I.I.?

D) I am SOOO happy you are loving your class and getting a lot out of it! :) I hope they give you useful feedback...sounds like they will.

As for me, things are uber crazy busy here right now, but I am working on revisions on my backward book whenever I can squeeze 5 minutes. I'll fill you in on why so busy when I get a chance. (all good things!)


Teebore said...

I hope you got some good feedback. I'm excited to hear all about on Thursday.

You know I think your beginning is okay, but you also know I'm not real wild about all the rules surrounding IIs, so take that for what it's worth.

I'm still plugging away at Crimson Masquerade. I finally got to the beginning of the end, so yay!

Anne Gallagher said...

Inciting incidents are so hard to define. Sometimes it's a big thing, like a Mac truck, and sometimes so small it's insignificant until something happens later in the story that makes the reader go "Oh YEAH, that's what that was for." It's up to you to decide how to play it.

As for me, I finished my edits, and gearing up for another release. Then it's clean the house. Cousins are coming next week.

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