“Beginnings are hard.”
“I don’t know where to start.”
“I have to explain so much I’m afraid no one will be reading when I get to the real story.”
I’ve heard these words from other writers. I’ve said these words. I’ve had stories that were ready to leap onto the page—if I could have just gotten started.
So I began in the middle. My characters knew who they were, what they wanted to do, and jumped right into the action. I decided the beginning could be written later.
That’s the neat and clean version.
What actually happened was, I was riding the bus to the subway when dialogue went off in my head. I had a pen and the back of an envelope and began writing as fast as I could to capture it. These people were completely involved in their drama and it didn’t matter that I had no clue what went before.
And a funny thing happened. In the end, only a few paragraphs were needed to set up the story. If I had waited until I had a perfect beginning, it would have all been lost. Starting in the middle was the way to begin.
So, what about you? Are you letting the beginning stop you?
Beyond loving this!! Cannot wait for more!!
There is literary precedent for starting in the middle.
Yes! Glad to see this. It has been a year since I conceived this story/novel. I have little scraps of paper with dialogue, scenes, names, facts, dates, etc., but just can’t get started with CHAPTER ONE. I want to start with the introduction of my ‘bad boy’, because, in my opinion, that’s where it gets really interesting. So maybe I will just do that. Thanx.
I was over the halfway mark with my first draft before I went back and wrote the beginning. And I didn’t have to go very far from the timeline I started. Good luck!
Anyway you can do it. Just do it.
Exactly. There’s no one perfect way to get it done.
I find this method works great with writing sermons. Especially when one needs at least three different sermons a week.
That is so cool.
Can’t wait ’til you’re done! I’ll just have to be satisfied with your blog for now.
Thanks! I’m getting there. 🙂
Interesting description of how you started your novel simply by starting with the middle. I would have never thought to do that. I have often wondered how someone could develop the skill to write a novel, all the time thinking that s/he would begin with the beginning. I could not picture how they could “make up” such long stories…How wonderfully wrong I was!
Thank you for providing us with some insight regarding this process.
For me, it’s a variation of not waiting until everything is perfect to start. I start, and then figure out where it goes. 🙂
Hey, J.M. I don’t know about anyone else, but you are one terrific writer. More, Please! CBR