Houston, we have a first line.
More importantly, I have 300 words into the first scene. And they begin thusly:
As Sam stared out the living room window, feigning attention as his aunt lectured him, he saw a bright blue semi at the bottom of the hill.
I wanted to incorporate the penultimate draft’s opening because I always liked it (I posted it here once: it was Sam ogling Mitch out the window while his aunt lectured him) but it wasn’t going to work because I needed this scene to do different things. This opener needs to set up Sam where he is at the start of the story and hint at where he’s going to go, and show us why he needs to go there. And introduce the town, and prominent players, and needs to hint at the antagonist, who isn’t going to physically appear until over half-way through. Well, I have my doubts that he’s the proper antagonist, but he’s the best I’ve got, so I want an echo of him in the opening. In short, as usual the whole thing hangs on the opening scene, and the opening scene is never right until the end. Technically this one won’t last, either, but it has to start somewhere, so this is where it happens.
There is substitute teaching for me today, which will be full of preschoolers, and it will be all day. I am in no way excited about this because I’d rather be writing, but unlike writing, this gig today will bring in almost $100 at the end of October. Theoretically writing could do this and maybe more by then, too, but theory and YES, WE PROMISE TO PAY YOU are two different things, and Tina needs a merry-go-round at her birthday party. (That’s an obscure Mommie Dearest joke, but I promise you, four people reading this are laughing, at least on the inside). My having risen at five to write will undoubtedly come to haunt me later in the day, and I don’t have high hopes for my ability to participate well in the One Iowa phonebank later tonight, but we’ll see.
My goal is to finish revising this and draft submission stuff by the end of the week. In reality I will be happy with the end of the month. Then I turn all my focus to TSV revisions and to TEMPLE BOY revisions, while all the while learning about poker so I can write about Randy in November.
Off now to see if I can make it 500 words before I go in to work. I should really do a few exercises, too, since at this moment my hips and pelvis are revolting and I’m 60% numb there. You know, really, after a year? So long as I can muddle through and function and am not SCREAMING with pain, I don’t even care. You can live at around 3-4 on the pain scale and dive occasionally into 5 or 6. It’s the seven and up that kill you. Numb? Whatever.