Writing is a daunting task. Attempting to weave words into a coherent and interesting combination is like a composer organizing notes in a unique and previously unused manner. Whether working on a speech, a paper or the next novel, the worst part is the first sentence. It sets the tone and can propel a reader to carry on and plow through the subsequent sentences. Or not. And so, a writer strives to make the opening words impactful, hoping to keep readers engaged.
But how to begin? There is nothing more frustrating than having an intimidating blank screen glaring and sneering at you for hours on end. But sometimes luck strikes and a thought miraculously appears in the brain, usually when one least expects it. As wonderful as that is, it can be terrifying as well. How then will you be able to properly capture in words the feeling that was evoked? Doesn’t that happen every time you attempt to explain a dream that seemed incredible to you? You usually end up sounding silly, as your words are incapable of conveying exactly what happened in that dream.
However, when spontaneous inspiration does not occur, sometimes you just need to shut that laptop and take a walk. Try not to think. Or at least stop thinking in a linear manner. Think sideways. Let the universe enter your brain. Stop obsessing and just be in the moment. That is exactly what happened to me when I wrote the last book in The Circle of the Souls series. While walking on the beach in Northeast Florida, I let my mind become a blank slate. While staring at the shoreline, the first two paragraphs of a book I wasn’t even going to write crashed in like the waves before me. Tripping over the sand and racing back inside I whipped open my laptop and wrote the following opening words:
“Rhythmic rolling coils of water cycled their way to the shoreline, gradually drawing the waters in, creating their patient and continuous pattern. Tides high, then low, the same water, over and over made its journey in, only to head back out and repeat the cycle once more. Again and again. Standing, feet in the foam, at the edge of the most recent lapping wave, she realized that the waves themselves gave her the explanation she sought. Waves and life are both in constant renewal. If one believe in such things. And she most certainly did. Life was indeed one big repeat of itself. Forming and then reforming. Over and over and over. Souls coming and going, and then coming back again. And again. Until each individual soul finally got it right. The revolution, leading to the evolution of the soul.”
The prologue wrote itself. The rest of the words followed suit. The book that I never intended to write, “Circles” , the sequel Split Soul was born. Sometimes what we write is out of our hands. And out of our heads. It just is.