Wednesday, 6 August 2014

IWSG August

This is for the IWSG for August. I've been reading some stuff on different ways of working with stories, and I feel like there's one thing that consistently shows up as a problem for me with mine: my beginnings. With both of my last two novels, I've had reviews that have said "I was a bit worried at the start, but I kept reading and it turned out well". There are some obvious reasons for this:

  • I often try too hard at the start, trying to hit a particular style that fades as I go along.
  • I often have quite slow starts, designed to show a character problem.
  • Occasionally, my starts are written a long time before the rest, and no longer fit.
Mostly though, it feels like the big question is one of where I choose to start. There are so many possible starting points for any story. The ones we pick can make such a difference to the way the thing unfolds. Now I just have to find the one that works best for my current work in progress.


Cathrina Constantine said...

I tend to agree, the beginning is almost the roughest part. Readers like to be hooked right from the start. Yet I think it's the middle and the ending that's really important. Some writer's put too much info in the beginning that can get confusing when it could be spread throughout the first couple of chapters.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Beginnings are so crucial. Critique partners can help spot ones that need work. I think I stress over the first line more than anything.

Donna Hole said...

I usually have to just "start" and keep on writing, then sometime later really work on the beginning.

Toinette Thomas said...

First lines and first chapters are rough. No matter how much you may want to set up the rest of your story, you have to make sure you're pulling in your readers.

I've received similar coments in my reviews. My beginnings aren't always mind blowing, but appeartely I pick up in enough time so that the readers keep reading.

I'm sure that being aware of the issue has and will continue to make a difference because now you know it's an area that needs work.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

My biggest challenge with writing seems to be the ending. I actually love writing beginnings and am at my most passionate in this stage.

Bob Sanchez said...

I started a novel at what turned out to be near the end. So begin writing anywhere, anything to get started. But I hope your final version begins in the middle of some kind of action to hook the reader.

Cherie Reich said...

Beginnings are the hardest. I always find I do the most editing on those earlier chapters.