Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Starting Line

I suck at beginnings, at least the first time around I do. Unfortunately, I'm working on one right now, and I can't get it off my mind. As I've said before, I'm infamous for rewriting my first chapter at least 10 times with each book. My endings seem to flow so easily, but the beginnings are like trying to turn coal into a diamond--it takes a long time + the perfect conditions and it won't happen just by sitting on it.

The thing is that eventually I get there. My beginnings are usually solid by the time I finish. It's just a lot of work to get to that point. And every writer has their own struggles. My friend and crit partner Candice struggles with the endings. Her beginnings are gorgeous... her endings are where she needs to focus to get it right.

Where do you struggle? For those of you that are like me, here are a few links to some tips on creating a great beginning by awesome literary sources:

From Kate Schafer Testerman
From Natalie Fischer on Nailing Voice in your opening &
From the fab Guide to Literary Agents


  1. I think I rewrote my beginning 50 times and I'm still not completely happy with it.

    I'm working on a new project so I'm working on another beginning. Hopefully I'll only have to rewrite it 25 times.

  2. I also have to rewrite my beginnings several times because I'm a pantser and the story will change the more I write it. Then I have to go back to the beginning and start again.

    Endings generally come swift and suddenly because I spend such a long time on the first couple chapters.

    In all, it's a pretty fair trade-off.

  3. I hear ya. I re-write my beginnings a lot. My endings I do pretty well with though. Thanks for the links! I'm excited to check them out! :)

  4. Right now, I struggle with all of it. I think I need to print out this picture, today. =P

  5. My endings are where I struggle. I'm usually excited enough about the beginning to do okay with it, but by the end I'm just trying to make sure all my loose ends are tied up and it's just a lot harder for me.

    Thanks for the links! I'll be sure to check them out!

  6. Right now I struggle with everything because I'm learning so much. Although when I finished my WIP #1 when I wrote the words that became the final ones (sans the epilogue) I stopped suddenly because I realized that was the end. Never saw it coming.

  7. I start with thinking my beginning is the best beginning ever written. Then I finish the book and reread the beginning only to find out that it is the suckiest beginning ever written.

  8. Seeing as how I've been meaning to write something for ages but never really got around to it... yes, I do think I find starting something to be really difficult. :)