I need to know where my story starts before I can continue. I’m a linear writer, writing in part as an act of discovery, even though these days I have a mental map of where I’m going. Like taking a relaxing road trip, it’s the scenery along the way that captures the fascination, sometimes even more than reaching a destination.
Isn’t it the same when when you read (or write) a book? It certainly is for me.
That said, I am particularly afflicted with the need to get the opening right. Yes, I know by the time I get to the end, there’s a 99% chance I’ll have to rewrite it. But as the beginning of a journey, I need to nail the start. In my current novel-in-progress, that meant a number of revisions, and eventually and entire retooling of the novel. Don’t say it. A little obsessive. I’m well aware.
In our critique group, everyone but me is at the beginning of their manuscript, and are faced having to decide how to open “this” story. In T.S. Bazelli’s Ink Stained Blog, I ran across an entry that spoke to how to begin. It makes sense. There are some good examples. And the comment stream makes for interesting reading.
So for those who need to figure out how to start, here you go: