Open with a line they’ll never forget. You want something that the reader can recall days later, as they’re scrambling to finish their project for work—bam, your first line pops in their head. It’s the line that changed their lives. For in that moment, they could forget about all that is the reality that makes up their lives and disappear into a sea of thoughtfully composed prose. They appreciate every carefully chosen word, every action verb, and every detail that makes your story come to life. To the readers, the book is more than a series of letters in random order. It’s more than pages bound together. Your story is the meaning of life, and it gives them something to believe in. This creates hope. Your words could change the world, and you don’t even know it yet.
That line is the string of your kite, and your next few paragraphs turn into the base of the kite. You need to decide what your kite is going to look like, and then run with it. I compare your writing to a kite, because the feeling that you get when you run with the kite, is similar to the feeling of writing to some of us. It’s a rush. It’s the wind blowing through your hair. It’s feeling one with something else and knowing that however this turns out, you enjoyed it along the way. After all, isn’t that why we do the things that make us happy? We want some kind of instant gratification. If writing is really what excites you, then it doesn’t matter if anyone else sticks around to appreciate it.
In my eighteen years on this planet, I couldn’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent writing. My finger tips have glided across the keyboard for hours at a time, only to leave behind unread words and forgotten stories. Many of my stories have been lost to crashed computers, technological mishaps, and my own volition. That doesn’t mean that they are worthless. Those stories helped me grow. They gave the opportunity to practice writing and the chance to figure out what worked for me and what didn’t.
Sometimes I would sit at the computer for hours, writing until I didn’t have any more words in me. Moments later, I would delete it all. A few writers around the world just cringed from the cosmic energy I just released into the universe from simply writing about erasing my words. But so many other writers sympathized with me, because they have been there. Sometimes you just need to dump and start fresh. You will feel so much better, I promise. Deleting something doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. For a brief period of time, you were affected by those words. They did something for you, and no one can take that away from you. But there’s a time when you need to get over it and move on. It’s the only way you will grow as a writer.
You may not agree with me right now, and you may not even like me. Who am I, a self-proclaimed amateur without any kind of degree or proven authority, to tell you how to write? If you’re still hung up on that, then you’re missing the point. I’m not telling you how to write. I’m sharing how I feel about writing as a writer, as a reader, and as someone who will always cherish the written word. It would be blissfully ignorant of me to think that I have mastered the art of writing by occasionally posting on a blog with a total of maybe 5 readers and taking a few writing classes in high school. I have a long way to go, and I’m not there yet. But when I run out of words to say about everything else, I write about what makes me passionate. I write about the kite that I’ve crafted. I write about writing.