As writers were told to start at the beginning, but, what or where is the beginning. We obviously don’t want to start at the protagonist’s birth (or do we). Who is to say that was truly his/her beginning, maybe the Protagonists’ parents were the beginning. We should start where the beginning of the story starts…
Where is the beginning of the story? In the words of Shakespeare, That is the question.
I keep hearing the beginning is where the action starts. What if you’re writing a romance.. there is no action. Well, there is acation, but. . .
So you’re writing a romance, you’d start when the romantic interests comes into the picture right? That’s not a good idea, why, you might be asking me. We are suppose to show what is normal for our Protagonist if he or she changes because of the romance we wouldn’t know that.
What if our Main Character smokes, yet the guy she’s crushing on is a Health Nut and hates smoking. So she’s forcing herself to stop. If we (the readers) aren’t given at least one smoke break where she decides to quit so Health Nut will pay attention to her, then savors her last drag before squishing the butt. We wouldn’t understand what she might precieve as the ulimate sacrifice to prove her love.
We might think she’s normally cranky when it’s really the withdrawal that’s making her act that way. She could be as sweet as pie to Health Nut, and be cruel to everyone at home, in attempt to hold her withdrawal symptoms from her crush but her family understands what’s happening and they get all of it directed to them. If the reader isn’t told this in the beginning, insanity would likely be the culpirt they think up. Is your MC insane….
Maybe but that’s not what we’re going for here.
So as you can see your beginnings are very important.
I hate starting a story, I personally don’t sit down and start writing at the beginning. The first words I may write might be at the end or the middle of a story. I usually don’t write what I believe to be the beginning until I’ve written a couple thousand words.
I prefer it this way. If I were to try to start at the beginning I wouldn’t ever write a thing. I would be so stuck that I would just sit here and stare at a black screen. I write what I am told to write. (Remember my characters talk to me) I go in later and connect scenes. There are times when I can write around 5 pages of a story. There are other times when I write ¼ of a page. When I go in to “patchwork mode” all of the pieces that make sence together get added together. I “patchwork” when I’m ready to make chapters…usually once there’s so many documents in my folder I can’t find the one I’m looking for. .. This isn’t about beginnings anymore..
So WHAT I’m getting at if you want to write but the beginning has you stuck. Or maybe you already are writing but your stuck somewhere else in your story…
It isn’t necessary to write in the order your story will be read. I don’t do it (unless its a short story of around 1000-2000 words. Sometimes I don’t do it even then.) I’ve been told that my writing is good. So you can copy me if you’d like.. and still end up with something other’s would like to read. Or you can sit at with your blank page and wish you were writing.
In all honesty, you can’t be a writer if you don’t write. You won’t get better at your craft if you don’t practice. So I give you permission to break any precieved rules about writing. You can do whatever you want, if you don’t like it or it doesn’t work out for you, that’s fine, call it a learning experince and start over. Keep what works (that you wrote) and toss what doesn’t. (Or save it all in a scraps folder. What you wrote might be something tha will be beautiful later in a different project.)