Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Little Corner of the Intertubes: Beginnings


By William G. Muir
Welcome back, as always I'm Rium G. Mailliw, and I'm here to ask the tough question and get the even tougher answers. Today I am being joined by noted Science Fiction writer Martha B. Larke. Writer of such books as Sunburst and Alien Holocaust. Thank you for joining me Martha. I know you don't do to many interview these days; seeing how you passed away nine years ago. But that has never stopped me from getting the answers that our readers want. I really appreciate this.

Thank you Rium.

So let us start off with a question, shall we Martha. How do you do it? How do you come up with some of the most fascinating tales? Very few writer can do what you have done. Take the shuttle scene from Year of the Doomed; I thought for sure that Buston Maddox was a goner when that asteroid slammed into his shuttle's engines. But with a piece of tin foil, chewing gum and a pocket knife he was able to fashion a working transporter unit. Just brilliant.

Well Rummy, may I call you Rummy.

Yes you may.

Well Rummy it's all about the beginning. No matter how many different ideas you might have for a story, or even just a chapter, it all flows from the beginning. If you can just make it over that first hurdle then everything else after that is easy.

Interesting that you use the word hurdle. You make it sounds as if it is a race. Would you say that writing a book is a race?

Now Rummy I don't know if I would call it race. A race makes it sound like you are competing with someone. I would say it's more like running to get in shape. What you are trying to do is create something that makes you feel good. Each time you sit down to write you push yourself to do better than the time before. But you got to find the motivation to go out and do it. It all comes back to those first few steps. If you can will yourself to sit down and start writing than something good is going to come out of it.

So you are saying that the secret to a successful book is the beginning?

Yes it is, cause everything flows from the beginning. You can't get any of the action if you don't have somewhere to start from.

Now the action scenes they must be difficult to write. Are they the most difficult part of the story to write?

Action scene can be tricky at times. But by far they aren't the most difficult scenes to write Rummy. I would say that for me the beginning of the story is the most difficult to write.

Interesting Martha, but I am afraid we are running out of time for today. Is there anything else that you would like to say to anyone aspiring to become a writer?

Why yes, I would. If you wish to be a writer pay close attention to the opening of both your story and each chapter. The beginning of the book is your only chance to hook the reader. This is where you want to hit your home run. If the beginning of your book is lacking in anyway the reader is going to put it down and never read it again. But if you can get them interested in the first few pages they will more than likely stick with your book to the end. 

I know you might find it hard to come up with the right beginning sometimes. But that's ok, just get something down. You can always come back to it later. The writing process is a continuing cycle and you will becoming back to where started from many times. Let the story flow from you. Often times if you know where you are going it will help you to figure out where you have been. So don't hesitate to jump in at the deep when you start writing. Once you have splashed around a bit you will know exactly what you want to do at the start.

Always remember it is the beginning from which your story branches out from. Feed it well and it will grow into a mighty tale.

Thank you Ms. Larke. I'm afraid that's all the time we have for today. Join us next week when we will be joined by noted horror writer Jay Barton. Jay's most recent book I Was A Teenage Zombie Babysitter has sparked outrage in the heartland. Until next time I am Ruim G. Mailliw reminding you to keep on reading. 

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