The Writer Life

Show of hands, how many of you are working on a book? How many of you hope to start writing one, some day? I'm sure many of you are serious about your craft, you hope that your writing will change a reader's life and inspire the world. You hope to take them to a different place and time, to entertain and challenge them. To make them fall in love with your book and characters.

But how do you start?

I'm not published yet. I am done with my book, but I'm still editing chapter seven. One of the rules for a first-time author is to make sure your book is perfect, or almost perfect. So, that's why I'm still editing. Making sure that I can send my best work out when the time is right. But if there was one thing that hindered me when I first started, it was chapter one.

As writers, our stories are in our head. Moving around and taking on a life of their own. We know our characters intimately, we feel their pain and we know how they act when they're loved or betrayed. Sometimes, you don't know where to start. How can you find the best way to introduce your story?

For me, it was trial and error. I scrapped over a dozen chapter ones. The book was completed but I was without a chapter one. Eventually, after much brainstorming, I was able to come up with a chapter one based on the entire book. And I love it!

There's a T.S. Eliot quote I'm fond of: "What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."

My advice to you is not to stress the beginning. If I'd known that my chapter one would come to me at the end, I wouldn't have been so hard on myself.

So, write. Write, write, write. That beginning that's evading you will only hold you back. So, write until it writes itself.




Tag: Diary