It begins with a blank page, and what a daunting page that first one is. All pages are hard, but that first one is the hardest. Where to begin?
You know, nothing anywhere says you have to start with page one. You can start anywhere in the story you wish. Maybe it’s better to begin somewhere in the middle, then fill in before and after as you go. Or perhaps you have it all planned out and starting at the very beginning remains a very good place to start.
Me, I always have stuff planned out, so I’ve always done as Maria says. So right now I have a new file open to page one, and all it says so far is: Inquisitors¹ Volume 1: Prologue.
That blank page is daunting.
I know the scene I need to write, I know the characters in it, I know the action that happens, I know the exposition that unravels during it, I know a lot of a the dialogue that takes place, and I know the exciting conclusion that sets things up for volumes to come. What I don’t know is that first line.
The first line is important. You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you can sure
judge it by its first line.
Here’s the thing…it doesn’t matter what I write now, it’s going to change anyway.² The only important thing right now is to kill that blank page by writing something. Anything.
Ok, time to stop procrastinating and begin. Wish me luck.
¹ “Inquisitors” is a working title. The real title has not yet revealed itself to me.
² Consider this foreshadowing for a future post about writing called “The Art of Writing is the Act of Rewriting.”
One thought on “On the Starting of a Novel”
Good Luck Mark!!! You can do it!