Second Thoughts on that Beginning

Lise McClendon

The first two pages of my latest novel, The Things We Said Today, are not the original beginning. As many writers discover while writing long fiction, I began somewhere else and realized after I had completed what I thought was the entire novel that I needed more at the beginning.

What begins a novel is a promise to the reader of many different things. A story-line, for sure, especially in plot-centric stories like mysteries or suspense. A promise of what and where the story is about. But also it describes a bond with a character, a person whom the reader can connect with, who will be with them, representing the reader throughout the novel. A compassionate, empathetic, sympathetic character, a friend whose corner we crouch in, hoping for the best.

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