So Where Do You Start?

So, where do you start?

 

That’s the question that plagues anyone who attempts to write a novel. Where to start?

 

In my first iteration of Shanty Gold, I started with Mary Boland sitting on a hillside looking out at the Irish Sea and grieving the fact that she would have to leave it.

 

It was quite lyrical and poetic (I thought). So did my husband. He still prefers that version.

 

But one thing I learned in a good writing class was: Begin your novel at the moment of change. Great change.

 

So, in the final version, you’ll find Mary enroute to the Cork Harbor on foot, falling to the earth until she’s scooped up by a fellow famine family into their wagon. This lovely couple will appear only at the beginning and end of the novel.Immigrant sculpture in coffin ship at the Irish Heritage Center, Cobh

 This is a picture of a sculpture at Cobh Harbor (Cork Harbor)

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jeanne charters Jeanne Charters writes about the business of living your life to the fullest. Over the years through her magazine columns, books and blog posts, she has sought to help other women face life's challenges through humor, strength and perseverance.

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