Courtney S. Barr

Welcome to My Kingdom!
Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Memos!


You can find hundreds of blog posts all over the internet that focus on "hooking" your reader. Books are written about how to pull a reader in by using tone, subject, description or just a few words - oh I'm sorry, the right words.

We all search for the right words. What makes me laugh is that we search not only for the words to draw a reader in, but we must work to discover the ones that keep them in our clutches. ;o)

We want them to turn that first page, stay up late, lose sleep because they cannot put it down and fall in love with our characters. These are demands we make of ourselves as we scurry through a manuscript. What we sometimes forget is that we are also the reader during this process. WE need to want to turn the first page, we need to want to stay up late, lose sleep and fall in love with the villains, the heroes and the supporting characters. But for the writer even if the first attempt does not keep us close, don't lose faith or think it a wasted beginning.

Plato is right the beginning is the most important part, what he leaves open to interpretation is "what is the beginning?". For the reader it's that hook on the first few pages...but for the writer it is whatever point the story appears in our mind then fleshes out on paper. Some write from middle to end and end to beginning. Others are traditional and start from page one, some create an outline and fill in as they go. I am a traditionalist for the most part but have found myself waking up to a scene that is at the end of a story itching to be told....they are all beginnings for the writer. They are all our most important part of the work for that story.

We cannot forget that each story is its own beginning as a whole. It is a step, a platform, a direction that we yearn to explore. It is a part of us that must be nurtured. Yes, I know some stories get shelved, they never get printed out, they are barely even a full MS; but can you not see that they too are beginnings...they are the first step or the turning point or the base for something we will begin again later or that will push us to write the MS that changes it all. Yes, beginnings are the most important work. Life is full of beginnings just waiting for us to discover their hook and keep us up late, working our fingers to the bone and loving every single second...

Where do you begin?

Around the blogs today!!

Um, are you ready for WRITE ON CON? NO? What? You have to be - it begins tomorrow!!!!!

Wendy Ramer has an adorable post about Justin Bieber - yes, you read that right!

The Literary Lab has a very interesting interview with Murray Dunlap, What would you do if you forgot everything you ever wrote?

Oh & The CONTESTS!!!

Okay, Lola's is awesome - go enter now! Click on the pic in the right sidebar -No other words need be said ;o)

Early info on Miss Snark's August Secret Agent contest!

Rebecca & Naomi: 2 sisters, 2 birthdays, 2 contests, 2 AWESOME GIRLS!
Follow both: Rebecca & Naomi

Carol over at Carol's Prints is giving away 7 ARCS! Yep you read it right 7 ARCS!!! click now it ends 8-15-10

Have a Marvelous Monday!


  1. wonderful post, I begin with my main character either falling or beginning the journey of falling. :)

  2. Where to begin...usually I like in medias res, but every story has it's own way to begin. Honestly, I think the hardest part of writing is getting the first chapter exactly where and when you want it.

    Wonderful post, love. :)

    THANK YOU for pimping my contest...and for the linkage of others.


  3. I always begin with the main character - she or he usually pops into my head in the final scene of the book. :)

    Thanks for all the links!

  4. Mine begins with each day.... everyday adds to the fabric and story that I'm creating.

  5. Happy Monday! Thanks for the shout-out ;-)

  6. Oh, love this post Courtney! You're dead on.

    As for me, I always start at the beginning and work my way forward. Beginning of a MS, beginning of a chapter, beginning of a scene. I understand some writers can write out of order but I am SO not one of them =)

  7. Great thoughts!! I sometimes forget that I'm supposed to be a reader of my work and that I'm supposed to like it, too. I get so wrapped up in trying to write something other people will love that I stray from what I love. It's tricky to make sure we keep up both. And I definitely don't write in chronological order all the time. I've had certain scenes that had to be written out of sequence. They usually end up being some of my favorites.

    Love this post! :)

  8. I have the hardest time with writing out of order. I start at the beginning and pants through. When I get to a "stall" point (usually transitions between scenes I've planned in my head because my attempts at outlining are a major fail), I read through what I've written and tweak if it suits me. Somehow this works for me and I break through the lapse to continue writing where I left off. The funny thing is when I read through, it's like I'm reading someone else's writing. I even laugh sometimes while I'm reading. Is that a little crazy or what?

  9. Hello, My Princess!

    Thankyou for honoring me with your presence at my humble blog. I was truly blessed. I am so glad that it pleased you as well.

    I am overwhelmed with joy just knowing that you will be "following" my blog. How wonderous a thing, M'lady. I shant be able to sleep tonight for thinking of it. I'll be a wreck for the gathering of friends at "Write On Con" tomorrow. Shall I see you, you highness? I dare not hope such an excellent thought. Yet it will be my fondest dream, just the same.

    Until the morrow, M'Lady, when I may glimpse you in all your lovely finery, where your most slendid beauty I and others shall be privileged to behold. God bless you and keep you in His ever loving Hands.

    Yours Faithfully,
    Cynde (Cynde's Got The Write Stuff)

  10. Oh, M'lady...I had not noticed that it is but the wee hours of the morn, so I must correct my missive! It will be TODAY that I shall see you at the "Write On Con" gathering.

    Until later, M'Lady!

    As Always,

  11. Hi,how are you today?I have surfed your blog serveral times, thanks for your information and photos. I will go on to follow your blog. If you have time, you can come to my blog and feel free give me some comment, more important thing is be follower!

    (My blog is

  12. My stories begin with an idea that blooms quickly, leaping into the form of an outline and then comes to fruition with the first word on the first page. I write straight through from beginning to end...with no detours.

    It works for me. :)

  13. Well said, good lady! This is why most writers I know are insomniacs. *sigh* *yawn* Wait... where was I? *zzzzz*

  14. Great post Courtney. I usually begin at the beginning and then write linearly, though I do outline ahead of time and that can go in many directions at once.

  15. I usually start at the beginning, but after I've written for a while I realize that it wasn't actually the beginning, but then I can never figure out if it's the prequel that needs to be cut or the 3rd chapter or what.

    Oh, and thanks for the linkage :D

  16. ahem, ahem - I left you a little something on my blog :D Have a great weekend!


The Princess is what's up?