That's the goal, anyway.
I'm starting a new book today. I've been preparing for the past few months, doing the preparatory stuff...the window gazing, staring off into space, work-that-people-who-"WORK work"-would-probably-call-bullshit stuff that I need to bring me the comfort I need to start. And I'm excited. And afraid. And I'm despairing that this might be what it feels like to start a new novel EVERY DAMN TIME.
I'm flopping around in a frying pan.
But I'm building a world. And it's SO fun. And I have characters, villains, and a central tension. I have complexity. I have a historical timeline that has given this new place a measure of depth that will only increase as we go along. I have secrets. I have tragedy. I have triumph.
Now to add a little blood, sweat, and tears. Simmer. Stir.
I know it's the right time because when I was explaining the general plot to my daughter the other day, I had a hard time shutting up. That only happens when I don't want to stop talking about things that my brain can't unglue itself from. It's the right time because I've had enough "ah ha" moments to fill up my tank, and I can feel the fire coming. This rocket's gonna ignite...I have no choice in the matter. I might as well get on.
From a writer's perspective, the first line of a new book is the most important one. Not because of the "hook". It doesn't hold any real substance in relation to the narrative. For me, it's the most important, most significant sentence because it means I've STARTED. I have something to say, or more accurately, I have many things to say and so do all the characters in my head. And they simply will NOT STOP bothering me until I've passed their statements and stories on to you good people. It's like a kind of exorcism. Write it out or let it burn you up.
And so, first sentence, I pause briefly to honor and give you proper acknowledgement. May we both prosper in this partnership, and never give thought to letting one another down. May we trust one another, and persevere. May we suck the whole world in.
Back to work.