My problem is something else. I literally can't write a word until I know the first sentence. I collect first sentences the way my kid hoards Halloween candy and dollar bills. I love them. I keep several close to me ...
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.
Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.
A screaming comes across the sky.
And of course,
Call me Ishmael.
I've often thought this is because I was trained as a newspaper writer. In newspapers, the lead is essential. The lead is the story. You have a good lead, everything else falls into place. Or maybe it's like shooting a rifle at the moon. If you make a tiny mistake in the beginning, if your aim is off just 1/1,000 of a degree, you'll end up missing your target by 10,000 miles. Whatever the reason, if I don't start this journey of a thousand steps with exactly the right one, then for me, there's no reason to even roll out of bed.
Last night, I was working away when, to my great surprise, the first sentence of the book I'm fooling with hit me. It's just a handful of words, a trickle of sand in the Sahara, but at least for now, this is all I need to start:
Jalen hated the way his dad smelled.