Write On! Forums
Welcome to the forums, WOTeen!

Writing the first words

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Writing the first words

Post  Maggie on Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:13 pm

I'm sitting here about to jump into Draft 1 of my new novel. I've been here before, but every time it's like standing on tip toe at the edge of a cliff with your wings spread. Shocked

How do you approach beginning a novel? Do you jump right in or labor for hours over the "right words" to start it with?

________________________________________
"If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don't remove it - I might be writing in my dreams." ~Terri Guillemets

--Maggie--
blog - twitter - facebook
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
avatar
Maggie
Level 5
Level 5

Posts : 1802
Join date : 2011-01-29
Age : 23

http://writeonteens.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Nora Coon on Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:27 pm

I jump in blindly at whatever part of the story intrigues me that most, and write from there. I may do a very small amount of plotting beforehand, but usually I discover the story as I write it. I figure I'll be revising anyway, so the first words don't matter that much.
avatar
Nora Coon

Posts : 6
Join date : 2011-02-09
Age : 28
Location : Portland, OR

http://www.noracoon.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Maggie on Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:36 pm

Nora Coon wrote:I jump in blindly at whatever part of the story intrigues me that most, and write from there. I may do a very small amount of plotting beforehand, but usually I discover the story as I write it. I figure I'll be revising anyway, so the first words don't matter that much.

Really? That's interesting! You know I've heard of people picking up randomly in the story but for whatever reason I've always just started at Chapter 1 and gone from there. *impressed*

________________________________________
"If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don't remove it - I might be writing in my dreams." ~Terri Guillemets

--Maggie--
blog - twitter - facebook
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
avatar
Maggie
Level 5
Level 5

Posts : 1802
Join date : 2011-01-29
Age : 23

http://writeonteens.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Nora Coon on Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:44 pm

Heh, well, usually that part does end up being Chapter 1 - I like to start stories with a major event or change in the protagonist's life (I think some people call it the inciting event or the catalyst).
avatar
Nora Coon

Posts : 6
Join date : 2011-02-09
Age : 28
Location : Portland, OR

http://www.noracoon.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Maggie on Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:55 pm

Yeah! Totally! That's what you're supposed to do, I think. Start with conflict. I'm having trouble right now with mine...

________________________________________
"If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don't remove it - I might be writing in my dreams." ~Terri Guillemets

--Maggie--
blog - twitter - facebook
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
avatar
Maggie
Level 5
Level 5

Posts : 1802
Join date : 2011-01-29
Age : 23

http://writeonteens.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Sarah on Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:55 pm

I always start my story from the beginning because I always find it the easiest to write. The beginning and the end are what I'm best at, it's the middle that I always struggle with. Normally I just jump right in when I start a new novel. Getting the words down is more important to me than getting them right because I always figure that if something isn't right or it sounds off then it will be fixed in the second draft when I'm rewriting the book Smile
avatar
Sarah
Level 5
Level 5

Posts : 905
Join date : 2011-02-07
Age : 21

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Sarah on Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:57 pm

@Lizzy why are you having trouble with yours?
avatar
Sarah
Level 5
Level 5

Posts : 905
Join date : 2011-02-07
Age : 21

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Maggie on Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:01 pm

Sarah wrote:I always start my story from the beginning because I always find it the easiest to write. The beginning and the end are what I'm best at, it's the middle that I always struggle with. Normally I just jump right in when I start a new novel. Getting the words down is more important to me than getting them right because I always figure that if something isn't right or it sounds off then it will be fixed in the second draft when I'm rewriting the book Smile

About the middle part? ME. TOO. Beginning is easy, end is so much fun but it's filling in the middle that's the hardest.

I don't know why I'm struggling. I think I'm pressuring myself to find the perfect conflict to open it up with before introducing the bigger struggles. And because this is a relatively new kind of story for me, so the whole thing is an experiment of can-I-pull-this-off-or-not.

________________________________________
"If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don't remove it - I might be writing in my dreams." ~Terri Guillemets

--Maggie--
blog - twitter - facebook
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
avatar
Maggie
Level 5
Level 5

Posts : 1802
Join date : 2011-01-29
Age : 23

http://writeonteens.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Sarah on Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:14 pm

I'm sure it will be fine. Sometimes, though, I've learned that the characters don't want to start with a conflict, sometimes they want the beginning conflict to be on page three or four, so I just do what the character want me to, it gives me a better understanding of them and then if the few pages before the conflict weren't necessary then I cut them. And I'm sure you'll do fine writing it!
avatar
Sarah
Level 5
Level 5

Posts : 905
Join date : 2011-02-07
Age : 21

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Maggie on Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:18 pm

Aww, thank you Sarah. I hope so!

________________________________________
"If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don't remove it - I might be writing in my dreams." ~Terri Guillemets

--Maggie--
blog - twitter - facebook
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
avatar
Maggie
Level 5
Level 5

Posts : 1802
Join date : 2011-01-29
Age : 23

http://writeonteens.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  AWriterGoneMad on Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:25 pm

Hehehe, you asked for it, lol...

I jump right in, but then usually later, I'll go back and play around with things. I do TONS of drafts, it's crazy. I think it was Dean Koontz who said he did up to 80 drafts per book. O_O
avatar
AWriterGoneMad
Level 2
Level 2

Posts : 67
Join date : 2011-02-05
Age : 23
Location : US

http://www.thenotsodailydiariesofawritergonemad.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Shahira on Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:29 pm

@Lizzy I'm sorry you're struggling with the new novel. :/ But I'm sure it'll work out great. &once you start, it'll just flow.

Like Sarah, I never have a problem with the beginning. I always start from Chapter 1 as well. It's always that very first scene is what pops up into my head that gets me started on my novel. Smile
avatar
Shahira
Level 5
Level 5

Posts : 456
Join date : 2011-02-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Maggie on Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:33 pm

Shahira wrote:@Lizzy I'm sorry you're struggling with the new novel. :/ But I'm sure it'll work out great. &once you start, it'll just flow.

Like Sarah, I never have a problem with the beginning. I always start from Chapter 1 as well. It's always that very first scene is what pops up into my head that gets me started on my novel. Smile

Thank you!! I'm going to start over tonight and I'm thinking this time it'll flow.

________________________________________
"If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don't remove it - I might be writing in my dreams." ~Terri Guillemets

--Maggie--
blog - twitter - facebook
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
avatar
Maggie
Level 5
Level 5

Posts : 1802
Join date : 2011-01-29
Age : 23

http://writeonteens.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Maggie on Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:33 pm

AWriterGoneMad wrote:Hehehe, you asked for it, lol...

I jump right in, but then usually later, I'll go back and play around with things. I do TONS of drafts, it's crazy. I think it was Dean Koontz who said he did up to 80 drafts per book. O_O

80 drafts!? *faints*

________________________________________
"If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don't remove it - I might be writing in my dreams." ~Terri Guillemets

--Maggie--
blog - twitter - facebook
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
avatar
Maggie
Level 5
Level 5

Posts : 1802
Join date : 2011-01-29
Age : 23

http://writeonteens.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Shahira on Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:53 pm

EIGHTY drafts?? Holy crap. Shocked
avatar
Shahira
Level 5
Level 5

Posts : 456
Join date : 2011-02-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Sarah on Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:56 pm

It feels like torture after the 8-9th draft I can't imagine doing 80
avatar
Sarah
Level 5
Level 5

Posts : 905
Join date : 2011-02-07
Age : 21

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Amanda on Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:20 pm

Lizzy wrote:
About the middle part? ME. TOO. Beginning is easy, end is so much fun but it's filling in the middle that's the hardest.

I don't know why I'm struggling. I think I'm pressuring myself to find the perfect conflict to open it up with before introducing the bigger struggles. And because this is a relatively new kind of story for me, so the whole thing is an experiment of can-I-pull-this-off-or-not.
I actually have the most trouble with the end. I've got my catalyst, I've got my climbing action, then the climax, and then I sort of get lazy and my ending is terrible. I'm in the process of trying to fix it.

And for my new project, I got up in the middle of the night with the words for the opening page in my head, and I just wrote that scene, then wrote the next scene the following day, and cut the first scene, because it wasn't all that stellar as an opening. But it helped me solidify the character in my head.

In general, it just helps me to have words on paper, so I don't feel this blank page glaring at me. I've been known to type a couple paragraphs of 'blahs' just so my first lines don't feel so lonely. Smile
avatar
Amanda
Level 5
Level 5

Posts : 671
Join date : 2011-02-07
Age : 24
Location : Alaska

http://amanda-the-aspiring.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Writing the first words

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum