Six impossible things

Posts Tagged starting

Andromeda Redux: Starting points

One of the things that seems to confuse a lot of people about plot, especially at the start of a story, is that they’re misidentifying what they have to hand, what they want to do, and how to get from one to another. What they have is […]

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Terror and dreams

Still with the process questions, starting with “What in the writing process TERRIFIES you (gives you bouts of anxiety)…and how do you push through it? For example, a blank page is both terrifying and exciting at the same time…” I think I spent ten minutes staring at […]

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Before the Start

“I only need one gun, but it has to be the right gun.” – Lois Bujold Very few ideas are perfect on arrival. Few non-writers recognize this, and almost none of them realize that the process of correcting them often begins before a word of a story […]

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Into the Unknown

There are a lot of jobs in the world, but for the majority of them, you know what you’re in for. You’re making something, or moving it around, or keeping track of it, or trading it. Even upper-level managers have a pretty fair idea what their job […]

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What I’m Up to

A couple of weeks ago, I was on a conference call with my editor and agent. One thing led to another, and I now find myself mostly-committed (i.e., I don’t actually have a contract, but the backbrain is moving ahead full steam anyway) to a totally new […]

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Moving on

Having spent the weekend being very thoroughly distracted by my 40th college reunion (at which they gave me a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, much to my astonishment [and thank you to everyone who worked on that]), I didn’t have a lot prepared for today’s blog. So I […]

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Fixing Chapter One: Background, setting, backstory

The third problem that article-writer had with Chapter Ones was “too much background and too much telling.” His answer was to cut out all the description. Unfortunately, this “simple and obvious” solution isn’t a universal one – in the first place, it doesn’t allow for differences in […]

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Fixing Chapter One: Character

Here is where we start going through the three “boring first chapter” problems and ways to fix them…and a few ways not to fix them. First up is the most basic and obvious problem: “The reader doesn’t care about the hero(ine) yet.” This is kind of a […]

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Fixing Chapter One: Why

On account of me being a bit disorganized and forgetting to load the blog post I had ready for today before I left for Chicago, you get a new and different blog post about fixing Chapter One, and the one I had planned (on the character piece) […]

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Fixing Chapter One, part one

I recently read a writing-advice column that argued that first chapters were always and necessarily boring. The column-writer never did explain why, if that were true, anyone would ever read the first chapter, or stick with a book long enough for it to get interesting, but he […]

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