My deadline here is here! And how did I do? I got one chapter written. Haha! (Grins sheepishly.) “But Katelyn you wrote over 20,000 words this month! How is it that you only got one chapter written?!” Well, I’ll tell you, writing is freaking hard.
Listen, writing a book is not easy and even though I didn’t get my entire rough draft written there were a lot of things I did accomplish that have set me up for success. The most important is that I have nailed down the beginning of my story.
This has been the ultimate struggle for me for the last six years. I have changed the beginning countless times and was never satisfied with it and the start of the story is the most important part. The first chapter, nay, the first page needs to do several things all at once. First, it needs to draw in your reader and capture their attention. You cannot have a boring first page or the reader will shut the book and never return.
Your first page also needs to establish your protagonist, in an interesting way. This is much harder than you would think. There’s a famous saying in the industry that tells you to drop your reader into the action. That doesn’t necessarily means start off with a crazy fight scene but there needs to be something going on, some sort of tension or high stakes.
Now here’s the kicker, you must do all of this while also finding a way to make your reader care. If you cannot get your reader to care and/or invest in your character in that first page then your book is a goner. With me so far? Draw in the reader, drop them in action/tension/high stakes, make the reader care/establish protagonist, and last but not least you need to give your reader a sense of the world. All in one page! Doesn’t sound so easy now does it? Because it’s not.
The problem that I talked about in my last post was that I could NOT move on to writing the rest of my book until I knew how the story was going to start out. It would be a waste of words and my time to do so. So I mulled this problem over, wrote several versions, stepped away for a while to think, tried everything and finally it came to me. I now have a first chapter that I hope will do all the things I mentioned above. YAY! It was very very hard. But now I get to move on to the rest of the story, hooray! So you know what that means? A new countdown! I’m going to reset the countdown clock and give myself until the end of the year to finish this rough draft. I now have a good sense of my writing process so I believe that if I apply myself I should be able to finish the manuscript by the end of the year. So please continue to cheer me on and check back on my progress! I love and appreciate you all and the wonderful support and encouragement you send my way.
Until next time here’s an inspirational quote to get you through:
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Confucius