It’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group day! For those who don’t know, IWSG day is a time when we writers gather together on the first Wednesday of the month to share our goals, our insecurities, our successes, and our fears and offer a word of encouragement to others who may be struggling.
Participants can answer the question of the month or be inspired to post anything related to writing insecurities and triumphs.
March 1 question – Have you ever read a line in a novel or a clever plot twist that caused you to have author envy?
They shoot the white girl first.
This is the opening line in Toni Morrison’s novel Paradise. It captures you immediately and leaves you asking a ton of questions:
Who is the “white girl”?
Who is “they”?
What provoked this attack?
You have to keep reading to find out. And that’s the whole point, right? That’s one of the first things they teach you in fiction writing class: Hook the reader. Give them a reason to want to continue reading to paragraph two, page two, chapter two.
Another rule they teach you is to start in medias res, or in the middle of the action, preferably after the inciting incident that kickstarts the plot has already occurred. You can always backtrack and fill in the details gradually as the story progresses, which is what Morrison does in this slow-burn novel. It feels almost cruel—getting emotionally invested in these characters’ stories, knowing that a massacre is brewing. But if you’ve ever read Toni Morrison, you’re probably used to it. She knows how to pinch your heart with her storytelling and the often triggering themes she uses in her novels.
“Cocksucker motherfucker” was my favorite expression and at eight years old, I used it defiantly.
When I heard this was the first line in Viola Davis’ memoir, Finding Me, I knew I had to read it. Because, first of all (and this is probably my sheltered upbringing showing), where on earth did an eight-year-old learn those words and why is she saying them?? I haven’t read the book yet, but I plan to—it’s on my “To read” list.
And that brings me to my next point in this post…Continue reading “#IWSG: I’m going on hiatus”