Moira here welcoming you back to another #SensualSunday. First and foremost, I’d like to wish all father’s, and father figures out there a very happy Father’s Day. I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing day doing whatever makes you happiest.
Today’s post is all about starting fresh. As an author each time we begin a story we are confronted by the dreaded blank page. The cursor blinks at us, taunting us, “write something, write something, write something”. Getting started, especially if you don’t have characters screaming at you, is the hardest thing there is. The first line of any book is the hook that you build off to reel in your readers. It’s important, it needs to be strong, and it should set the tone for the story.
Let me share something with you. For every single book I’ve written, the first line that’s in the published copy – it’s not the one I started with. That’s right, I started off on a different “foot” and got the ball rolling. Then, during my revision stage, I fix it. And then my editor usually makes a tweak to ensure it’s even better, but that’s a whole other story.
Now I could sit there, staring at the page while that horrid little cursor blinks accusingly at me, but I know better. I would be there for days if I did that. Instead I go with whatever is in my head at that time and start to write. I know in my gut that first line will hit the trash down the road, and I’m fine with that. All that really matters is that I’ve started the story. And once I start to write the characters begin to take shape, the story begins to evolve, and I have a much better vision of what is to come. Which means by the time I get to “The End” I’ll be in a better position to go back to the start and rework that first line, or two even, to ensure it’s a stronger opening line.
So if you’re sitting there before the computer, or sheet of paper if that’s your preferred method, and don’t have the foggiest clue – don’t freak out. Let your mind clear and whatever pops in first write it down. It doesn’t have to be good, hell it doesn’t even have to make much sense, but you have to start somewhere. In my opinion if you start off rough then it’s all smooth sailing to something better from that point.
Just. Start. To. Write!
Another sharing moment here – my second book in the C&M Security series I knew my middle, and I knew my end, but I had zero fucking clue how to get my characters there. I didn’t want to just leap into the middle either, though I did try, but it ended up being a colossal mess. Deleted that right off the page thank you very much. Bringing me right back to that damned cursor blinking from the blank sheet.
For a time, I pondered what to do, how to get over that hump to work my way into the story. In the end I ended up writing some naughty, and truly horrid, little ditty that was silly, fun and did I mention terrible? But it got my mind off the fact I didn’t know how to start the book. I was giggling at my foolish self and suddenly I had a scene, and then another, and then suddenly I was in the middle of the book and from there I was golden because I knew what was coming.
So what if I didn’t have a beginning, I would before I submitted the story. All that mattered right then was getting to the nitty gritty of the book. Discovering my characters and telling their story. It was around the third or fourth last chapter of the book that I suddenly had inspiration strike as to how the book should start. I hit save, scrolled up as fast as my little finger could go, reread my little ditty (and giggled some more) before deleting it and writing what would become the first chapter for book 2 in the series.
That goofy little bit of writing had no purpose to my story I was telling. It had no bearing on the characters I was creating, or the expansion into the world I’d started to reveal to my readers. It’s only real purpose, beyond a few chuckles, was to get me a page that was no longer blank.
That’s it. Nothing more to it than that. But it worked.
So don’t fear if you have no idea how the hell to start the story you feel scratching at the inside of your skull trying to break free. Just start writing. You have all the time in the world to figure out what that first line to your story will be, and editor’s that will assist in ensuring it’s truly catchy.
Now, get out of here and go enjoy your day.
XO Moira Callahan