Monday, 3 June 2013

The Agony and the Ecstasy: First Chapters

The worst part of starting any new project, for me, is actually starting. Once I'm past the first chapter I feel fine, but getting through that first chapter is like walking through waist deep mud in rubber boots. It's slow and messy. Everything about my first chapters always feels wrong, but somehow, once I'm passed that first hurdle and into the story, everything seems to get smoother.

I think part of my problem writing that first chapter stems from the fact that I know it's the make or break chapter. If it's not good fantastic, chances are I'll lose my readers, and while I know I have ten thousand tries to get it right, I can't help knowing, in the back of my mind, that I have to get it right.

For the project I'm starting right now, I've already written three different versions of the opening of chapter. Why? I'm searching for the perfect entrance into the world, that perfect moment where everything begins. The shift in my characters world that changes everything. It's like digging for treasure, but there's no big red X to mark the spot, so I guess I'll just wing it.

First chapters really aren't so bad sometimes. There is a certain thrill that I get when I write a new first chapter. It's the beginning of a wonderful new adventure for me and my characters. But it really is the hardest chapter for me. I think I might start with chapter two instead and write my first chapter when the book is finished.

It could work, you never know.

What's the hardest chapter for you to write?


  1. I'm fine with first chapters, even the second or third. It's every chapter after that I struggle with. I have a hard drive full of beginnings and no ends.

    1. I have a drive full of ideas because I never know how to start. ;) So you're one up on me right there.