I Find a Shoggoth Makes Any Story Better, Don’t You?

How about another story?

Mayan-CalendarThis one is a couple of years old, written in 2012, to be exact. It is called, appropriately enough, Mexico, 2012.

It features a wonderful protagonist: me. Well, an alternate version of me if I was sort of like Indiana Jones, only cooler. Way cooler. He saves the world a lot.

This alternate Mark Hand features in a number of stories, including an unfinished opus novel that takes a short novel I wrote for the 3 Day Novel Writing Contest (called “The Crack of Venus: The Utterly True Story of how Galileo Galilei Saved the World in the Year 1633”) and layers it as the background for me saving the world. Again.

The world does seem to be in jeopardy rather often in my stories. Hmmm.

Anyway, read Mexico, 2012, the story of how I discovered why the Mayan calendar ended in 2012. It features exotic locations, cools cars, cultists, ancient artifacts, divine cappuccino, a bag of mushrooms, a Lovecraftian monster, and an end of the world party that very nearly was.



On the Starting of a Novel

It begins with a blank page, and what a daunting page that first one is. All pages are hard, but that first one is the hardest. Where to begin?

sound-of-musicYou know, nothing anywhere says you have to start with page one. You can start anywhere in the story you wish. Maybe it’s better to begin somewhere in the middle, then fill in before and after as you go. Or perhaps you have it all planned out and starting at the very beginning remains a very good place to start.

Me, I always have stuff planned out, so I’ve always done as Maria says. So right now I have a new file open to page one, and all it says so far is: Inquisitors¹ Volume 1: Prologue.

That blank page is daunting.

I know the scene I need to write, I know the characters in it, I know the action that happens, I know the exposition that unravels during it, I know a lot of a the dialogue that takes place, and I know the exciting conclusion that sets things up for volumes to come. What I don’t know is that first line.

The firs8e9a2f072c4a77d0acdec0aff1a7d539t line is important. You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you can sure
judge it by its first line.

Here’s the thing…it doesn’t matter what I write now, it’s going to change anyway.² The only important thing right now is to kill that blank page by writing something. Anything.

Ok, time to stop procrastinating and begin. Wish me luck.

¹ “Inquisitors” is a working title. The real title has not yet revealed itself to me.

² Consider this foreshadowing for a future post about writing called “The Art of Writing is the Act of Rewriting.”

hand print