Monday, March 30, 2015

Original 1st chapter: DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS

Hi there! Want to read the original first chapter of DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS? Well you can! You just have to jump through one of three very simple hoops!

Original first chapter? What's that mean? 

The hardest part of writing a book for me is getting started. I can't move forward into the meat of the story until I get the beginning right, and so I usually I spend a ridiculously long time trying out openings. The first chapter is the first big hurdle, but I don't really feel like things pick up speed for me until I've written the entire first act.

In the case of DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS, after a lot of brainstorming, I thought I had figured out my opening, my way into the story. See, it's the reader's way in, but mine too. I can't write the book till I find the right door that lets me inside. I thought this was it, and I really enjoyed writing this chapter. I won't say anything specific about it, you can read it, but you can begin to sense from it a couple of things.

It would have taken the story in quite a different direction from the get go, and it starts in a different time and place. See, I was trying to pick up the story where DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT leaves off. After the epilogue, that is, which is basically: the eve of battle, with the combined forces of the Misbegotten and the chimaera about to return to Earth to take on Jael. I had devised a plan involving Karou and another character to get them to Jael, but there was a problem.

When I tried to write it, I found I was having to backfill all that had happened between the last chapter of DAYS and the epilogue. Basically: the combining of the two armies in the Kirin caves. That was a pretty big damn deal, and I was trying to SKIP IT. What I realized is that I had to back the book up and overlap the ending of DAYS to show how it had gone down, because it was hugely important. 

Then, later, the new character, Eliza, took on a much greater role in the story than I'd originally planned, so the first chapter ended up being hers.

Some writers are able to continue through a draft even if they have a niggling feeling they haven't nailed the opening yet, but I can't. So I'm like some kind of madwoman in the early days, trying out a bunch of different things and tossing them out.

Anyway, if you want to see the original first chapter of DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS, which helped lead me to the epiphanies about what the opening actually needed to be (it seems that it's only through discovering a number of wrong ways that I find my path to the right way), go HERE:

There are three different ways you can "unlock" the chapter and get a password to read it. Let me know what you think! I'm curious. 

(I'm especially fond of the last line :-)

Oh, and look! More AMAZING FAN ART!!!

This one is from Katherine Soldevilla, an artist in LA who is available for hire (info below; portfolio here). SO UNIQUE & WONDERFUL! I've never seen a Brimstone like this one before. I love them all!

And these are some more pieces from @LesyaBlackBird in Moldova, who I also featured in the last post. Crazy talent! I LOVE these images!!!


Alexandra Saperstein said...

Loooove the Moldova artist's art! Wow!!

Vår Bokvärld said...

I just finished reading Days of Blood and Starlight and I loved it! Thank you Laini for writing these wonderful books and letting me get to know Karou and the others! <3

Laurence King said...

Argh... beginnings :( I have the same, so tricky to nail down the right entry into the story...Glad to know I'm not the only one ;-)

Urban Flowerpot said...

I loved the last line most of all, too! I've only read your series once and am looking forward to re-reading it. There is so much detail. I think it was Stephen King who wrote books need to be read twice because the first time your reading is like leaping and you miss things.

Not all books, though. Like the nameless novel I'm currently reading. SK also said to make sure you read the books you don't like so you'll learn from them how not to write. ;D

Thanks for sharing this alternate chapter.

Bets said...

Thanks so much for sharing this alternate chapter! I really enjoyed catching an extra glimpse of the characters and seeing a little bit of the early possibilities.

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