Thursday, June 23, 2011

Freaking out...

I am seriously trying not to freak out right now.  My writing is just starting to work itself out.   I'm down to the last two chapters in editing, and then I read Nathan Bransford's post about Five Openings to Avoid. 

And what happens to be the number one thing to avoid on his list - A character waking up: Sure, there's probably a good reason the character is getting woken up. Maybe their house is on fire/they're late for school/they just realized their insides are being sucked out by a sea monster. But not only is waking up overdone, what exactly is gained by showing a character wake up? Why not just cut to the insides-getting-sucked-out chase?

Technically my WIP starts with a nightmare that my POV has been tormented with for the last three years since her uncle's disappearance. It's a haunting glimpse into the happenings of that day, including clues to the reason of his disappearance.  My POV has kept these nightmares between herself and her best friend, afraid to confide in her family in case these actual events happened to be based on truth.  It also briefly introduces the main love interest.  This then rolls into the first chapter, that just happens to have her waking up.

Honestly, I have reworked this beginning over and over.  This is the first opening that I have actually felt a kinship for, that I loved.  And now there is the distinct possibility that some agents will pass over my WIP because of it?  Hence the freaking out!  I don't know what actions to take.  Do I leave it as it is, or go back and reedit the opening? Ahhhh....What am I saying?  If I have to rework the opening again, I am literally going to DIE!!!!!!!!! 

I did know that it was risky to start a book with a dream sequence, but for me it was what worked.  My sister said she absolutely loves it, but she is not an agent or even a fellow writer.  I know what I need is a good Critique Partner, but I just don't know the correct avenues in which to pursue one.  In the end, I don't want to appear as some strange stalker, or end up trusting the wrong person.

Please someone help me, I am so freaking out!


  1. Don't stress over it! IF (notice the stress) it needs to be re-worked, any agent/editor will let you know. If the rest of the book is as good as your synopsis, they're not going to pass because of your opening. I've read lots of books where the opening is of someone waking up, picking up the phone, etc.

    I'm always happy to beta read for you :)

  2. Thanks so much Claudia! Once I finally finish the Beast, I just might have to take you up on your offer, if you're still willing!

  3. I saw Nathan's blog yesterday too, but I wouldn't worry too much about that stuff. Everything has been done before, the trick is doing it better. Which is why I am rewriting Transformers 2. Should be no problem.

  4. Claudia - Will do!

    Sean- Hahaha! Let me know how that rewrite goes for you.

  5. Hi Amber - I just stumbled across your blog and wanted to say I can relate right now. As I finish the last of my revisions and play around with a query, I've been spending a lot of time researching agents and every week there is something new to freak out about. A few weeks ago I ran across a list of the most 25 overused things in YA and of course I had used one of them. Recently I read about how agents like to see an active presence on twitter and a blog, which of course I don't really have. So now I'm freaking out about that.

    For me personally, I think all this crazy stress just means I'm getting ready to take the next (very scary) step in this whole process.

    I would trust your gut - everything's been overdone in some way or another...

    Good luck!

    P.S. I feel your pain on the whole critique partner search - I wish there was an eharmony for that!