On Beginnings and Being Late

Sometimes, I really despise beginnings. They’re so hard, and yet, in my four years of writing, I’ve written about a dozen times more beginnings than I even have written middles. I should be an expert by now.

I’ve been trying to edit my beginning for a few weeks ago, and I’ve been so stuck. I edited my prologue, and I’m immensely happy with it. It might be a little confusing, because I did kind of introduce some concepts of my world-building and then not explain it all (but my one beta-reader didn’t say anything about being confused, so maybe not), but then I got to chapter one, and I’m just like… “Aggghhhh!”

I know what happens in the chapter. Or what needs to happen. But everything I read says, “In late, out early.” Well, how late is that supposed to be? If I start the chapter right when the action starts, then that’s all fine and dandy, but I feel like then I have no introduction of the character, and so this plot-twist-like thing that happens in the chapter doesn’t feel real surprising, because the reader doesn’t know who my protagonist is before this reveal. Or maybe I’ve just got the wrong perspective, because I keep thinking of this thing as a plot twist, even though, technically it isn’t, because it’s not twisting the plot, because there is no plot in chapter one, so what this is is actually my inciting incident! It’s what gets the plot going somewhere, at least for this one character.

I considered trying starting it before the plot twist, but I’m afraid that’ll be boring and it might make this chapter too long. Heh. Plus, I have to figure out how to introduce this other character and some more world-building concepts, and it all kind of gets overwhelming.

I think what I’ve decided to actually do is start the chapter after I reveal the plot twist, because then I can still start with action and I can start with my protagonist’s emotion and his feelings about the whole thing (which I feel might be a better, more interesting way of introducing his character).

Still, it’ll be hard to balance, what with me still having to introduce…everything else.  I was told that I’m somewhat decent at giving out information without info0dumping, though, so I’m hoping that that one time I did it right wasn’t a fluke or something, hehe.

Anyway, yeah.  Beginnings are hard to write.  And apparently…rewriting them is not any easier.  We’ll see how editing them goes when I get to draft three (because I really hope I won’t be rewriting it again then).

Advertisements

35 thoughts on “On Beginnings and Being Late

  1. Beginnings are really difficult to write because a lot of readers judge whether they finish a book based on the beginning. It’s so hard to know where the right place to start is. I’ve been having troubble with figuring out the beginning of my Camp NaNo novel, but at least we can revise, right? Sometimes writing seems like one big mess of rewriting everything over and over again and having no idea what you’re doing. 🙂

        1. AND I’M DONE WITH THAT NOW, I HOPE. NOW I HAVE TO REDO LIKE EVERY OTHER CHAPTER EXCEPT KALVIAS’S. GAH, SO MUCH WORK.

        2. AND I THINK I REDID CHAPTER FIVE ALSO. I’M NOT SURE WHAT I’M CHANGING OF CHAPTER FOUR, SO I HAVEN’T TOUCHED IT. SO NOW I’M WORKING ON…CHAPTER EIGHT, I THINK?

  2. Michael Hildebran-Joines

    Shim, my old acquaintance, do you remember me? I’ll give you a hint. Sothe. I know I promised to stay away and all, but I wanted to see what was up in the world of those Californians. I have days where I actually still miss ya you know. But meh. So, how’s it going?

  3. Personally, I think you nail the issue at the bottom of your third paragraph. Since this event is your inciting incident, it’s entirely okay to introduce your characters/world a bit beforehand…or indeed to spend some time introducing the character/world after the incident, since you’re planning to have it right at the start. Quite a few books don’t even get to their inciting incidents until the 2nd chapter, so I don’t think you have much to worry about if it’s in chapter 1 :).

    1. That’s a good point. I think what I ended up doing was starting it half-way into the inciting incident, and then working on trying to show the world after and alongside some of the action. I think it worked out fairly well. At least, I hope it worked, heheh…
      Thanks for commenting!

Have anything to share?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s