“Don’t start with the weather, dialog, or use excessive conjunctions,” he said.
Light gray clouds floated overhead and Coldplay oozed out of the coffee shop speakers and the barista asked me four times to confirm my order (black coffee) and the coffee tasted like cheese whiz (like it does when you buy it late night at the local 7-11) and I just wished the day would commit one way or another.
“Well, where should I start?” I asked.
The Novel, my novel, was the subject, but I was having trouble finding the verb. Our critique group featured one of the most knowledgeable yet-to-be-published writers on the planet.
“In Media Res, start in the middle.” He sat up, smiled.
Ooh, it was so simple. I wanted to brain him with my 500-page manuscript. I brought it every week just in case the spirit moved me.
“Of course, how could I have forgotten, the middle,” I replied, not bothering to write down the comment.
“In the end, it may not matter, I’m not such a fan of this genre. I’m more literary,” said the guy who has to explain every week’s submission.
I wondered if I could reach across the table. I might have to get behind him somehow….
“I don’t know how you come up with half that shit,” he added. “What’re you writing there?”
My grip tightened on the pen. Bring 700-page mss. I say, “just a little reminder for next week’s group.”