Most writers, I suspect, struggle with different aspects of the craft at times. For me, it’s beginnings. How to hook’em and draw them into the story. That first chapter, those first few lines. How to be brilliant and captivating and (dread of all dreads!) avoid the clichéd opening. Yikes!
And for me this crisis continues throughout the book in mini form with the start of each new chapter.
But nothing compares to the anxiety that comes with penning the all-important first page of a new WIP.
Let’s face it. If you don’t catch the agent/editor/reader on the first page, in the first few lines of your baby, you’ve lost them.
No pressure there, huh?
The fantasy I’m currently revising is a perfect example of how I struggle with beginnings. From its inception I have wrestled with how to start this novel. Twenty-nine beginnings later I thought I finally had it right.
Wrong. A dear friend looked at my shiniest new version and said, “Eh, too confusing and too much of an info dump.”
Back to the drawing board and beginning number thirty. I dumped the entire first chapter and started in a brand new place. Virgin territory, a beginning that was actually new! Surely, I was on the right track.
She looked at it and said, “Jeanie, your beginning is actually in the middle of page two. That’s where you should start.”
I looked and, sure enough, she was right. Why couldn’t I see that?
Too close to my little darlings, I guess.
So, what gives you fits when you write, that hairball of a beginning, the sagging middle or winding it all up in satisfactory fashion?