If you write, ever, you should keep this close to you…
I was fretting too much over that opening sentence.
I worked on it scrupulously,
thinking that if I could only get the first sentense right,
the rest of the book would come easy.
That was a big mistake.
Weeks went by with my staring at blank paper
and getting nowhere.
One day I decided to just start writing
in the style of the Dick and Jane first grade readers.
Simple little words,
without bothering about style or polish –
just to get the story on paper.
I started writing,
“There is a little town on a hill called Santa Vittoria.
It is in Italy. The people in the town
grow grapes and make wine.
One day, not too long ago…”
and so on. It worked fine.
Soon I was writing like mad all day long.
The pages began to pile up and I felt better.
Robert Crichton, who’s first novel The Secret of Santa Vittoria was on the New York Times bestseller list for over 50 weeks, spending 18 of them at the top of the list, and became an international bestseller. New York Times critic Orville Prescott wrote: “If I had my way the publication of Robert Crichton’s brilliant novel…would be celebrated with fanfares of trumpets, with the display of banners and with festivals in the streets.”