Girls Write Out
Wednesday, April 12, 2006


NEW DAY
Ah, the beginning of a new book. Anything is possible. The plot still seems unusual, the characters like new friends. The setting feels fresh, and my villain sinister.

Okay maybe not. Some writers love the start of a new project. I always struggle. Who ARE these people and why did I think I wanted to write about them? And where the heck do I start the book? I bet I write the first chapter three times before I figure out my starting point and go forward. Oh I THINK I know it when I belly up to the computer, rub my hands together and touch the keys for the first time. About two paragraphs in I'm staring at the screen and wondering WHAT WAS I THINKING? This is junk, totally juvenile writing. My readers will figure out whodunnit by the second chapter.

Usually by chapter five I've got my swing back and I'm pounding away. Hey, I wonder if it would work if I just jumped ahead and STARTED in chapter five, then came back and did the first few chapters later? Makes sense, don't you think? Maybe I'll start a new trend among authors. Let's skip the oh-so-hard beginning and get right to the good stuff!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 6:42 AM  
  Comments (8)
 
 
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8 Comments:
At 7:46 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

For me, it's the first paragraph. It has to have the right "feel" to it, you know? Set the tone right from the start.

Sure, it makes me want to bang my head against the wall, but it's exciting-- that first paragraph. I mean, the possibilities are endless, right? It's just a matter of finding the right one and keeping a bag of chocolate within reach.

 
At 9:07 AM, Blogger Chaos-Jamie said...

I started with chapter five. I didn't know it at the time, but still...

 
At 12:35 PM, Blogger Julie Carobini said...

Colleen,
You mean this never changes?

I just had the start of my next book critiqued by a mah-velous writer who confirmed my suspicions that the first chunk should be slashed, cut, purged, etc., etc....

btw, loved the "bellying up to the computer" image--hahaha. Comparing a computer to a bar has so many possibilities...

 
At 1:58 PM, Blogger Cara Putman said...

I know exactly what you're saying, Colleen. In the new series we talked about, I'm strugging to get started. I know the characters, I know the town, I know the backstory, and I know the mysteries. I just have to figure out how to start. Maybe I'll try the start-in-the-middle-and-work-my-way-backwards-approach :-)

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Oh so true! :o) Some peopel talk about sagging middles, but for me, the middle is where I really hit my stride. Does that mean I have a bulging middle? Uh oh - back to the gym. LOL But even though it's hard, I do love a new story!

 
At 5:32 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

I agree it's hard to know where to open a book. After all, the possibilities are endless when you're staring at a blank screen.

 
At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Bethanie said...

so many people are always telling me to start an essay for college with the middle and then go back and write the intro later. can't do it though, i can sit there for hours before writing an intro, and THEN i can get into my paper. of course, the intro sucks and i have to re-write it but i have to have something to start me off!

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

The beginning is my favorite. I mull over my first line forever, and then the heroine gives it to me (usually in my sleep) and I'm off! You'll get there, you always do, but that's my favorite part. I think, I haven't written enough to screw it up yet!

 

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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

www.KristinBillerbeck.com

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

www.ColleenCoble.com

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

www.DeniseHunterBooks.com

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

www.DiannHunt.com

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

www.HannahAlexander.com

 
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