Writing Page One De Novo

mutation of DNA double helixIn the beginning. De novo. Anew.

For a writer there is nothing more thrilling and terrifying than sitting down to write page one, paragraph one, word one. And it is my personal belief that this process looks like a bell curve.

For true beginners the excitement far outweighs the terror, and it should. For ignorance is bliss. If every pre-baptized writer were to catch a glimpse of the suffering they must undergo to adequately finish what they have so flippantly begun he/she would shat him/herself and take up knitting.

If the uninitiated knew the terrifying difficulty of condensing the entirety of their novel’s ethos into a page, if she stopped to ponder how quickly other writers will deem her work sophomoric drivel, and how readers will reject the entirety of her creative baby after perusing 10% of the free digital sample, she would enroll at the local technical institute or start up an indie press or eBook marketing service. (Oh no he didn’t!)

Then the beginner becomes a novice. Then an amateur. Then finally a struggling professional. It is this struggling professional that finds page one utterly horrifying. After stumbling through the process of completing a few novels the early professional is forced to confess he knows very little about how he managed to pull the first ones off.

With very little return in regards to financial success this struggling professional is left wondering if she has indeed pulled off a capable beginning ever. Maybe it was pure luck. Or maybe it took everything she had.

Still, the thrill of bringing a new creation to life cannot be quelled entirely. Page one. In the beginning… let there be story!

This is where I remain in the process for now. Hopefully I’ll slide down the backside of the curve in the near future, reaching the coveted stage of seasoned veteran–a writer confident in the process, knowledgeable and yet still titillated by the possible and impossible.

It is a wondrous thing, the thing I’m blessed to be able to do. Oh, on a side note, the working title for the novel I began today is De Novo Syndrome. Who knows, maybe this fresh start will be the one that pushes me over the top.

About David Mark Brown

Writer. Novelist. Redneck. Granola. Raised on a Texas cattle ranch and schooled at the U of Montana (Berkeley of the Rockies), I am the world’s most self-proclaimed redneck granola and author of optimistic-dystopian dieselpunk, sci-fi thrillers and young adult literature.

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