Stuck on writing

I have finally started writing the actual text of my current story. Sort of. I’ve only managed a page and a half.

One weird thing that I find with my writing is that I have to start the story just right. If I start writing and I don’t have the right tone, I can’t just pick it up later. Tone, to me, is just so crucial to get right with the very first words I put on the page.

The result is that I sometimes rewrite the first page or two of a story over, and over, and over. It also makes it hard for me to start a story over for other reasons, even when absolutely necessary, because then I lose that tone that I captured and it can be hard to pick it up again.

So. My current story, I’ve tried starting a few places. My first start was at the chronological beginning of the story. The problem was that this meant the first chapter was basically a prologue. It was written from a different POV than the rest of the story, and it happened 13 years before the rest of the story. Right. So eventually I realized that perhaps it was best if I didn’t do this, and instead I had the information told to my main characters later in the story. Doing so also helped keep the reader from figuring things out too soon.

So I tried again. This time I switched to the 13 years later part, but for some reason I started at the beginning of the day, so that I could have the main character wake up with excitement. Of course, since the next exciting part happened that evening, that meant that I had to tell the story of her day, which, while it allowed me to show her family life, her conflict with her mother, etc., it wasn’t really the most compelling place to start.

Finally, thanks to an off-hand suggestion from a friend, I’m starting in the right place, the first truly compelling part where the girl’s life begins to change. And, of course, it’s now that I’ve finally got the most compelling place to start the story that I’m having the worst trouble hitting the right tone. So, I’m a bit frustrated, but I’ve got two pages of writing that is adequate enough, I suppose, to make myself move on. It’s a bit hard to feel inspired about it, though, honestly. And while I don’t necessarily depend on inspiration to get writing done, I certainly tend to expect it at the beginning of a story when I’m all excited about the new one I’m starting! I’m still resolving a few minor plot points for later in the story, but the plot outline is generally done, so I thought it was time to stop procrastinating and get some words on paper.

In other news, both little ones are being completely insane today. I think they’re both overtired. Whining, fussing, tantrums, etc. At the moment I’ve just put them both down for naps, and I’m hoping they’ll *both* actually sleep. I think they need it. I’d like to do some writing, but instead I’m going to finish my lunch, then clean the living room and the bathrooms, so I can vacuum after they wake up and then maybe we’ll try the park. *If* I finish all the cleaning and they’re still asleep… writing time! If not, then I’ll have to find myself somewhere to hole up this evening away from the TV (Seth likes to watch) so that I can get some serious stuff done. A plot outline and 2 pages are not really much to show for 2 weeks’ work, even if there are also 30-some pages of discarded writing and I have two kids to take care of and a third on the way!

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