New beginnings (2)

Dr Johnson, it’s said, was once come upon unexpectedly by the mistress of the house while kissing the maidservant.

“Why, Dr Johnson,” she said, “I am surprised at you!”

“No, Madam,” he said; “I am surprised. You are astounded.”

Well; I am a little of each. I wrote about my next novel, The First of July, here and a little about a research trip to the Somme (where the book is set) here. That was a little over a month ago. Obviously I’ve been thinking, in that loose free-floating way you do at the beginning of a project, for much longer. But I was . . . surprised? astonished? . . . to find that the opening scene, with two brand-new (to me) characters, came almost fully-formed into my mind a couple of days ago.

Actually, that’s not quite true. They came fully-formed onto the page: an odd experience but one which most writers are familiar, although it usually doesn’t happen until further into a story.

I’m rather pleased with it (though that may not last). So much so that I’ve not only put up a paragraph about the odd ways beginnings get begun here, but the whole sequence here. Do look and see what you think.
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