In a .txt format file I have a growing collection of first chapters. It's very educational to read them. I read them out loud to myself too, perhaps I'll get to a point where I have them memorized.
My new collection is publishers, and the first in the collection will be:
Why them? I don't have a good reason, I saw a reference to them somewhere and went to their web site. Maybe they were on 60 Minutes or something. Anyhow, they do have some authors, and I'm actually familiar with a couple of titles by their authors. Small world.
On a similar but different subject.....
In the process of working on that first chapter, I discovered a couple of reasons why people go to fiction for stories that are really memoirs. You can't remember all the tiny details well enough to fill in the stories in your book, so you say to yourself, oh well, that's what fiction's for.
For instance: I well remember when I made the decision to move to Madison, Wisconsin. How many details do I need to fill out the scene that I can't remember? And how many of them can I look up, so they're accurate? Well, Terri (to become my second wife later on), and I are sitting on the end of Francis street. It's late June or early July, nice warm day, and we're arguing about something. What? Who knows. All that #*@%^ ever wanted to do was argue about nothing, or something there was no control over anyway. Francis street runs into the lake, literally. I'm sure it was some kind of boat ramp many years ago. There's a bluff/hill on the east side of it, and at the top sits French House. On the west side, the low side, sits the DU house. There are wonderful trees with a canopy of leaves over us. So, we're sitting there in the shade, listening to the waves lazily lap against the pavement, arguing over nothing. Sitting on the curb.
There's a guy sitting on the curb on the opposite side of the street, that we weren't paying any attention to. It's a public place, and we're not slugging it out or anything, but she's got to argue. I wish I'd had enough sense to get up and tell her to find her own way back to East Lansing, and walk away. I know what she would have done, called her dad, and he'd get to rescue her, yet again. He lived for that. God, he was such an idiot. Anyway..... back on subject...... We're sitting on the curb about 15 feet from the water lazily lapping the end of Francis street, across from this guy we don't know. ARGUING, as usual.
The guy introduces himself as Jerry. He asks us if we'd be willing to shut up, if he got us stoned. Terri would always stop arguing for a joint. So, Jerry got us stoned, and I said to myself, "Here we are sitting by this beautiful lake, in this great campus district, and this guy has a joint for us. What a great place. I want to live here."
And that's how I chose Madison, Wisconsin. Now, where do I go with that...... Perhaps a longer work that is a collection of arguments with that idiot. But I'm really glad I made that realization about her father being a moron who gloried in saving his daughter. In a lot of ways, she's just like my younger brother was. Too many ways. Only, my mother wasn't as stupid as her father was. Nice guy, I really liked him, but stupid........ So stupid. And let his wife lead him around by his nose. And, WHY would she want a man like that? He was pudgy, stupid, didn't make much money.... She was pretty good looking, ambitious, had family behind her, what did she see in him? Sigh.............. who knows.............