1. Hero-Jean629
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    Hero-Jean629 Member

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    The first chapter?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Hero-Jean629, Oct 6, 2011.

    I'm excited about my new story and have planned this for almost a year now, with notebooks and documents covered in small notes and such but every time I sit down to begin writing my first chapter, everything comes to a blank. Whether it be a computer screen, a scrap piece of paper, or even a notebook-I simply can't do it.
    I think I may have been over-thinking the first chapter a bit but how do I get those juices flowing in order to get this out on paper? I have so little time for writing but every time I do I get nothing but a blank stare for an hour or so.
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    You just have to force yourself to start typing. Even if what you are writing seems forced, stilted, or just all-around bad. Once you get into the flow, things will generally start to fall together and you'll get a decent pace going. Then you can go back later and deal with any issues that resulted from the forced typing (pacing, flow of narrative, etc.). but the most important thing is to make yourself actually start pounding away at those keys (unless you write longhand, but either way, make yourself start writing).
     
  3. Chad J Sanderson
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    Chad J Sanderson Member

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    What he said. To add: Sometimes the first chapter isn't where you need to start. Many authors don't necessarily write their books in order. If they have a specific scene that's begging to be written, they might type it up even if it comes much farther into the story. Remember that your book/story/whatever will be HEAVILY revised by the time its published. Don't sweat the small stuff and get those gears grinding on anything that interests you.

    If you can't find a single interesting thing to write about, as in it grabs your creativity and doesn't let go, it may time to think about the book another way.
     
  4. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    i agree, start with a chapter that is not the first one, just write it scene by scene in a random order if you need to, as long as it takes away the feeling of having to get it perfect the first time around. Just approach it as if you were writing down a dream you wanted to remember, don't put so much pressure on yourself.

    Edit: If you find it easier, write the first draft by hand, handwriting has a tendency to stimulate creativeness. :)
     
  5. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Force yourself to write, and write what is clear in your mind. Where do you want to start? Don't worry about the first chapter because it's most likely you'll write it after you've written the rest of the novel. You say you've done a lot of planning, have you done a plot plan? Essentially what it says, a plan of the plot but it can also be a chapter by chapter plan. This may help you to get started with just writing it. Anyway, don't think 'this is has got to be the first chapter' and just get writing!
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I tend to start my stories in the middle of action. My first nove, a family saga, l started with an eight-year-old girl (the MC) running down stairs, jumping past the last few steps, and landing with a loud thud, much to the irritation of her father. A story about a priest in a very poor section of New York City began with the priest arriving in his new parish and being approached by a teenage prostitute. I picked the first opening simply because I wanted an arbitrary place to get started. I wasn't even sure what I was going to write (it was supposed to be one segment of a historical novel, but I abandoned that idea by the time I was 100,000 words in). The thing is, once you begin writing, your characters and your story will take over. But you need to let them get started.

    Good luck.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    As others have said, you don't have to start with chapter one. Start wherever you feel inspired and come back to chapter one later. You might find that the chapter one you had in mind isn't even necessary or desirable.

    You have to write. Start where you CAN write. Find out later what needs to be filled in and write that material when you know it properly.
     
  8. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I understand the desire to have a few good scenes at the beginning. I find they help me keep a good gasp on the story. What has been said is so true, what ended up being to opening scene to my first novel wasn't written until I finshed the book and the opening scene I did have was removed completely. However I recently started a new novel and once again find the desire to have a few good scenes at the beginning hitting me like the desire to eat a yummy dessert. I know I shouldn't want it but I can't help but cut myself a big piece. So I've been "brainstorming" scene two for three days now. It will get written today.
     
  9. adrenaline7
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    adrenaline7 Member

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    I'm the opposite. I can do the first chapter for a story with no trouble at all. Same with the ending. The middle (and unfortunately the bulk) of the story is where I struggle with things. But I would heed the advice from everyone here. No need to start at the "start" of your story, you can start it anywhere. Just get some scenes, dialogue and action in there, and make something happen. Things will fall into place after that.
     

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