how in the hell do you start a novel???
i mean i have no idea, but this is how i begin
When I was in my MFA, my thesis advisor used to write in the margins of my work things like, “This could’ve been good if you hadn’t messed it up by dropping the entire idea,” or “What in the hell are you doing? Too many ideas,” or sometimes to save time he’d just draw an arrow at a paragraph and write “stupid, stupid, stupid.”
I’ve already spilled ink on my shitshow MFA experience, and all you really need to know today is that there definitely was not a kumbaya vibe of exploration. It was like, get it right or you’re an idiot. And the way our professors delivered critique made it almost impossible to hear anything that might’ve been helpful. Yet, somehow, the note about having too many ideas made its way through all the noise. I could see when I was drafting how my stories got derailed when I got confused about where I was going, or I would get interested in something thematically and try to jam it in and deviate from the plot. For many writers, that’s just part of the drafting process…