On Writing the First Three Chapters

19 Comments

  1. This absolutely makes sense. The book I just finished, Darin Strauss's More Than It Hurts You, showed traces of the ending in the beginning. The two poles of the story matched up nicely, and I could see that Strauss had at least tinkered with the beginning after he had written the ending.

  2. This absolutely makes sense. The book I just finished, Darin Strauss’s More Than It Hurts You, showed traces of the ending in the beginning. The two poles of the story matched up nicely, and I could see that Strauss had at least tinkered with the beginning after he had written the ending.

  3. So did you like the fact that you could tell the beginning and ending were tinkered to match, or was it slightly annoying?

  4. So did you like the fact that you could tell the beginning and ending were tinkered to match, or was it slightly annoying?

  5. Oh, it was a good thing, because it was well done. I could infer that–going into details here–there was some foul play on the wife’s part and that her husband would one day find out, but I didn’t know what specific consequences the couple and their child would experience. I was so eager to know, I eventually flipped to the ending for a hint of the story’s destination. I NEVER do that. I normally hate to have the ending spoiled even in the smallest way. This beginning just propelled me right into the book.

  6. Oh, it was a good thing, because it was well done. I could infer that–going into details here–there was some foul play on the wife’s part and that her husband would one day find out, but I didn’t know what specific consequences the couple and their child would experience. I was so eager to know, I eventually flipped to the ending for a hint of the story’s destination. I NEVER do that. I normally hate to have the ending spoiled even in the smallest way. This beginning just propelled me right into the book.

  7. I must confess I hyperventilated at this post. I agonize and fret over the first three chapters until I drive myself crazy. It’s just as difficult as my agony over where the begin the novel and whether that beginning I brainstorm is actually any good.

    *GGG*

  8. I must confess I hyperventilated at this post. I agonize and fret over the first three chapters until I drive myself crazy. It’s just as difficult as my agony over where the begin the novel and whether that beginning I brainstorm is actually any good.

    *GGG*

  9. Jolie – That’s something every author strives for, to propel the reader into the book. I hope I’m as successful with my own work!

    Evangeline – It’s so hard to get past those first three chapters. I’ve re-written my first chapter at least four times, and I’m still not sure if it works the way I want it to. But at some point, I’ve got to write the rest of the story, otherwise, what’s the point? Why agonize over the first three chapters if I never get to the remaining twenty (or whatever number it turns out to be)? I feel your pain, believe me.

  10. Jolie – That’s something every author strives for, to propel the reader into the book. I hope I’m as successful with my own work!

    Evangeline – It’s so hard to get past those first three chapters. I’ve re-written my first chapter at least four times, and I’m still not sure if it works the way I want it to. But at some point, I’ve got to write the rest of the story, otherwise, what’s the point? Why agonize over the first three chapters if I never get to the remaining twenty (or whatever number it turns out to be)? I feel your pain, believe me.

  11. I found this quite interesting, especially having read an early draft of your second novel. Well put! :)

  12. I found this quite interesting, especially having read an early draft of your second novel. Well put! :)

  13. That is true. But I can be overly hard on myself to the point where I can’t move past those three chapters even if I have an outline of where I want the story to go.

  14. That is true. But I can be overly hard on myself to the point where I can’t move past those three chapters even if I have an outline of where I want the story to go.

  15. Uh oh. Well, at some point, you have to give yourself a break and move on. I don’t know how to inspire you to get past the first three chapters, but I do know that one day you will get sick of re-writing them. I hope it happens sooner rather than later, so you can finish your work!

  16. Uh oh. Well, at some point, you have to give yourself a break and move on. I don’t know how to inspire you to get past the first three chapters, but I do know that one day you will get sick of re-writing them. I hope it happens sooner rather than later, so you can finish your work!


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