Stuff I Say

Eight First Chapters

Posted in Reading, Uncategorized, writing by 51future on April 9, 2008

I write in my spare time and I’ve been struggling lately– trying to finish the novel I wrote in November for National Novel Writing Month. In February, when I wrote it, I was having a lot of trouble finding the right voice at first (and even now I’m not sure I found it, even though I did find a voice…).

I’ve been working on it on and off since February and I don’t really have much to show for it. Lately, I’ve been sitting down in front of my computer and coming up with nothing. The words just won’t come, or if they do, I look at them the next day and can’t fathom why I’d ever start like that, or why I’d bother with character X or situation Y. I can’t see the situations I feel compelled to write about and it makes me doubt whether or not I’m forcing it in the first place. Basically, I’m having trouble.

So I present eight different first chapters for your perusal. I’m looking for opinions, because I really lack the ability to objectively examine my own work at this point. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between these chapters, struggling with them for months on end and the more I examine them, the less I like them. Words blend together– it’s a problem.

If you have time, check them out. Read them and tell me what you think. Tell me which one you think is the most compelling. Tell me why. What kind of questions do you have after reading them? Is the perspective as diluted as I think it is? I often feel like I’m typing flavorlessly into a wall and its driving me nuts. Am I just stressed and imagining things? Are any of these worth reading at all? I welcome all questions and comments. Without further ado, here are eight first chapters to the same general story. Everything from the details of the plot, to the events, to the characters themselves change throughout these separate chapters, but there are common threads in each, I think.

Take it And Run!

Lark gives Jack a few things and tells him to leave, convinced that its the only way to save him from a somewhat unclear danger.

The Train Wreck

Richard (Lark) investigates a major train wreck. Jack shows up, hoping to cover the story before it hits the major outlets.


Haunted by a strange dream, Richard (Lark) is awoken in the wilds of Europe with the news that one of his company’s trains has wrecked.

31 Dead, 1 Confirmed

Jonah Hawthorne (Richard, Lark) visits the only survivor of a train accident, Pearl Stramn, in the hospital while Mer (Jack) poses as a family member hoping to get a scoop.

Keep Me Awake

Cassandra comes home to Bridgett (Pearl) who’s eager to be kept awake. (Borderline erotica, here.)

Six Years Ago

Richard Hawthorne (Jonah, Richard Hawthorne, Lark) finds a table by himself, intent on taking drugs in order to help him remember what’s happened to him.

Purple Powder

Richard Hawthorne (Jonah, Richard Hawthorne, Lark) takes drugs to help him remember.

Kodomo’s Brown Bag Special

Richard Hawthorne (Jonah, Richard Hawthorne, Lark) buys drugs from a dealer named Komodo that he hopes will help him remember.


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