I was pleasantly surprised by the opening of the novel when I went back to reread it. Sure, link It was sloppy, find but I’d also put some good things in it. It’s a brief vignette focusing on a teenager girl living on a ranch outside of Austin who finds Ludd’s body and some other strange things. She’s a throw away character, shop we won’t see again in the story, but she lets me set a tone that is at once dark and full of the anxious-heady possibilities of the times (and of day, as I write this it is January 20, 2009). I also use her to introduce the year 1970 in a personal (albeit superficial) way – which is what I wanted. I didn’t want to get bogged down to much in setting the time at the beginning more than I had to. The politics, war, technology, will soon become clear through the plot. Finally, the girl who is excited about going to the university and leaving her ranch home which she as backward (behind the times) allows me to use the word “anachronism” in the first few paragraphs of the novel.
I am less pleased with the introduction of junior reporter Franklin. I like the way he stands in the crowd and yet apart from it. All the pieces are there, but the execution needs work and in the end it’s the execution that matters.
The beginning is rough. Every word is worth double, as I need to manage interest and carefully set expectations. I’m hoping that once I get past the beginning the rewrite will go faster.