I am tracking how many first lines I write for this book. So far it’s five. Alec asked me if I had discarded any of them, and I laughed, because yeah, I’ve discarded four of them. I wouldn’t have come up with the others if I didn’t need to replace them. I don’t count the times that I delete an adverb or strengthen a verb as separate sentences. These are five completely different starting places, varying in book time from a few seconds apart to a few days. They are doing different things, and what thing they need to do is evolving as the book evolves.
I have talked before about writing out of order, about how every piece of the book affects every other piece and how for me that means that writing them all linearly just won’t work. And I secretly think that everyone else is at least a little bit like that too. I have met zero people who revise each line into perfection and then never change it. I’m sure there was some historical figure who did that, but currently: really not. Everyone needs to look at their work as a whole and have some parts of it evolve based on how other parts look once they’re down on the page. It’s just that I do that with a lot more temporal variance, I think.
Anyway: the five first lines don’t mean the book is going badly, they mean that the book is going well and giving me more stuff I’m excited about writing every day. So seriously yay that.