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B&A: Advice for writing beginnings?

B&A: Advice for writing beginnings? Topic: How to write a compelling story about yourself
June 20, 2019 / By Lennard
Question: I'm still stuck on rewriting the beginning of book one. The rest of the story all falls into place for me, no problem, but I keep going back and redoing chapter one. Over and over and over. I suck at beginnings! Any advice is welcome. I'll check back in about twenty minutes - I'll go back to wrangling with those words for a while. GAH. Thank you :)
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Best Answers: B&A: Advice for writing beginnings?

Jaiden Jaiden | 1 day ago
My number one tip is that, no matter where you do decide to start, make sure there's at least a bit of action. Obviously, the first chapter is supposed to be what hooks the readers to the story and compels them to read the rest of the story. Have someone get arrested, beaten up, planning or plotting something or other - your prerogative. Just as long as you don't simply *describe* and info dump a bunch of stuff nobody cares about yet. I hate those kind of intros >:( Let's see, you could use one of the chapters/scenes that you already have as a prologue and then simply backtrack and tell us how you get there for chapter 1, 2, whatever you're missing. Just generally think of some exciting/intriguing event that will lead up to what you already have down. Be sure to not flood the first chapter or two with all of your characters at one time. It's too hard for readers to get to know the whole cast right off the bat. Just stick to one, maybe two, *maybe* three, tops. Also, choosing a relatively small setting is usually best. Absorbing a huge, detailed location when you're just getting introduced to the beginning of the story is a little much too, so just do a room or otherwise small, simple locale. Good luck!
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Jaiden Originally Answered: B&A: Advice for writing beginnings?
My number one tip is that, no matter where you do decide to start, make sure there's at least a bit of action. Obviously, the first chapter is supposed to be what hooks the readers to the story and compels them to read the rest of the story. Have someone get arrested, beaten up, planning or plotting something or other - your prerogative. Just as long as you don't simply *describe* and info dump a bunch of stuff nobody cares about yet. I hate those kind of intros >:( Let's see, you could use one of the chapters/scenes that you already have as a prologue and then simply backtrack and tell us how you get there for chapter 1, 2, whatever you're missing. Just generally think of some exciting/intriguing event that will lead up to what you already have down. Be sure to not flood the first chapter or two with all of your characters at one time. It's too hard for readers to get to know the whole cast right off the bat. Just stick to one, maybe two, *maybe* three, tops. Also, choosing a relatively small setting is usually best. Absorbing a huge, detailed location when you're just getting introduced to the beginning of the story is a little much too, so just do a room or otherwise small, simple locale. Good luck!

Flurry Flurry
I get in the same bind as you whenever I start books. I do chapter one and at first I'm all right with it but then I start chapter two, three, four and I go back to chapter one and redo the beginning. I feel like I have to cram a lot of the foreshadowing and hints in there or make the first chapter incredibly significant but always falls short of my expectations and I just get all BLAH I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE! Then I take a break, eat chocolates and refuse to look at the story until I come up with the perfect beginning then... yes, I just babbled. You can ignore the beginning and going with your middle and end and once you're satisfied with that you can write the beginning that fits with the whole book. I tried that sometimes and sometimes that works or maybe your book does not need a beginning; I've read a story of my friend's that started right in the middle and I thought that it was a clever story. Anyway, I hope it goes well for you! =D
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Daryl Daryl
I happen to write a little funky style that my teacher always makes fun of. I know how my story begins and I know how it ends...I just never have a middle. Hence a two month writer's block. The key to beginnings is to leave it. Write what you think is a good idea and let it stay; no matter how many times you feel as if you want to change it and "make it better". Just write, get it out, and then edit at the end of your story. The beginnings should hint to future events but not be too "BAM WOW" because you will have to compete with that the rest of your story as to not bore the reader further on.
👍 110 | 👎 -9

Baily Baily
I agree that your story may not need a "beginning." Without actually reading it, it's hard to say for sure, but it is possible that something you have already written could function as the first chapter in your book. It might require a bit of tweaking, say, adding more information or detail here and there, or it may require explaining certain things in greater detail at other points in the story.
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Winter Winter
I think Cathrl gave very sound advice. Perhaps you need to write the beginning from a different "beginning." Start book one off at a different point in your story than what you have currently. And above all, don't stress about making the perfect beginning. You'll probably have to end up rewriting this over and over anyway to get it just right. You can always edit later:)
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Winter Originally Answered: Writing adivce! Might just throw away the story! Advice?
OK, here is the key to writer's block. It happens to every author, and it's ALWAYS for the same exact reason. You're making things too easy for your characters. Things are happening too conveniently. A character needs something, and you give it to them. Something has to happen, and it does. Someone has to help them. They do. It's all a little too coincidental, and even you as the author are becoming bored. That's when writer's block kicks in. You've lost the story. It's become just a checklist of daily events. Snooze. There's a simple cure. Go back in your story and find where you've done this, and undo it. When Shannah enter's Jace's dreams to offer him help, he doesn't respond favorably. He's furious, and so much that, when he realizes she is actually doing that, he wants to hurt her. Bad. He refuses her help. He refuses her advice. He feels violated and angry. He wants to make her pay for getting into his head. What else does she know about his dreams? Does she know, for instance, that he fantasizes about Haley? And how positively nasty his fantasies are? That creates tension and conflict for your characters, and that is the LIFE BLOOD of ALL good storytelling. If you do that, make things difficult for your characters, make their decisions turn out to be the worst possible choices, and guard against any happy accidents, you automatically create a story that takes a life of its own, and your biggest problem will be NOT being able to keep writing it!

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