A Good Opening Scene is Worth a Cocktail in the Face

Posted on 16/04/2012 by


So I’m about thirty thousand words into Wizards and I finally got to the scene fragment that started the whole thing. Finally.*

I’m really glad now that I didn’t decide to start the book there. I don’t think the scene would have had the same resonance without the context you get from the what comes before. I had thought about using it as the opening scene and then jumping back in time… But then I realised the first thing that happens chronologically is that someone throws a drink in Gray’s face, and after I was done laughing at him I decided that was a pretty good place to start the book.

And, as it turns out, I’ve been really enjoying writing this book all linearly and chronologically. It’s weird, but fun. And it’s freakishly easy to write the boys flailing and not knowing what’s going on when I am, at times, flailing and not knowing what’s going on. (Actually, there have been one or two points where I swear they knew more about the situation than I did. Which was a trifle unnerving. And something I should do something about. Possibly with some zip ties, a very bright light and a creepily accentless, Tell me what you know.)


*Incidentally if I ever refer to any section of a story as ‘just the beginning of the book’ I think you should mentally blocking out at least the first half. We’ll both be better off. I, apparently, don’t know what a beginning looks like. Or it just takes me a long time to realise that the reason it was so important that I write this bit first is because this is the story.