Books start at the beginning. They have a first chapter, a first page, a first word.
It’s the logical place to start.
That’s also the hardest place for me to begin writing a book.
I usually know what happens in the middle and where the story ends, but knowing where to start is a challenge. The opening chapter is the one I rewrite the most, and the first line is the hardest of my entire writing process.
The opening of “The Mountain of Dempsey Molehill” has been one of the primary causes for delay in completing and releasing the book. The book is linear over the course of a year, told in an episodic manner. Many of the stories in the middle of the book already are written. But I’ve been putting off the first chapter for more than a year.
Which is why I’m relieved to say …
A first draft of the first chapter is finally written!
Sometimes a little motivation makes all the difference. I signed up for an opening chapter critique at SCBWI’s Prairie Writer’s and Illustrators Day, which meant a firm deadline loomed for submission. As a newsroom person, deadlines give me a positive boost.
Dempsey’s story is still far from finished, but now I feel like it’s off to a good start.
How funny, but I completely agree! I often find myself struggling to write books because I cannot get over that first chapter. And a deadline can often help me by giving me a goal to reach and work hard for.
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