Title of Your Choice
Beginnings are such damn tedious things.
Seriously, who has ever liked writing beginnings? Enjoyed trying to make that first, all-important sentence pithy enough, shocking enough, interesting enough? My high school English teacher always used to say that the end of a story is like pie—it’s got to fill you up with joy and delight, yet because of its very sweetness leave you desperate for just a little more. But what does that make the beginning of the story? An appetizer? The salad course? Chocolate-covered Brussels sprouts—scrumptious enough on the outside that you decide to take a bite, to take a risk, even though the rest of it might not live up to your expectations?
I never liked Brussels sprouts. And covering them with chocolate is just a tragic waste of a good thing.
So I have decided that this beginning, my beginning, will just bypass all the salads and sprout-y expectations. There will be no rambling prelude to the action, no eye-roll-inducing “These characters are just having a natural conversation, no really, this totally isn’t just a thinly transparent attempt to provide a whole bunch of background information” exchanges, no Shakespearean pronouncements as to the tragedy, romance, and literary profundity that currently await you.
With me so far? Great. Let’s get started.
* * *
Right now you're probably wondering, how the heck is she going to pull this off? She's got to start the story SOMEWHERE. If she starts in the middle, that's still a beginning, just in medias res. Lame. If she starts with the ending and then circles back to the beginning, she's just ripping off something that's already been done. Like that stupid "I never thought I would die" prologue in Twilight. Even more lame.
So what's a girl to do?
None of the above, of course. Yes, endings are technically the antithesis of beginnings, but as stated above, beginning with the end is so last season.
So I'm going to not-begin-not-end by skipping to something that's not even technically part of the story: the book reviews.
I'll have you know, I did my due diligence when it came time to send my book out to reviewers. I mailed advanced reader copies to Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post, William Faulkner (just for kicks--you never know who might decide to come back as a ghost), and a whole slew of budding book bloggers (on the off chance one of them becomes famous, I can totally go on talk shows and do interviews about how I always knew they were going to be a star and mailed them a copy of my book because I recognized their genius before anyone else did).
Not everyone agreed to provide a review, but I did get a few rather good ones. I believe the words "glorious" and "mind-blowing" were mentioned on more than one occasion. Along with "pretentious" and "utter swill," but hey, I never expected Faulkner to give me a GOOD review. I was honestly just happy to get any sort of feedback from him at all.
This one's definitely my favorite, though:
"What the fuck?"—New York Times
Why, thank you. Thank you very much.