First chapters are such a struggle for me. I’m always excited to start a new story, but sometimes I wish I could just jump right into the middle and go back to the beginning later. I sort of did this once. I started writing a book at chapter two. It worked well for me on that project. The plot was very simple, though, so I don’t think that would work for anything more complicated. At least, not for me.
I’m thinking about chapter ones because, right now, I’m polishing up Summer Rush’s chapter one. I’ve always had trouble with those opening scenes because I need to set up background, describe characters, create setting – and it usually turns into a lot of telling instead of showing, and disastrous amounts of info dumps. It’s maddening.
My fall-back plan is to open with wild, crazy scenes and then explain things later, but that isn’t going to work for Summer Rush. I really want this chapter to be brilliant; tidy and interesting, at least, if not brilliant. I thought I had it right for a bit, and I did some line-editing on it, but then I realized there was some more tweaking that the bones of the scene required.
So it’s back to square one – more like square two or three, actually. But I know exactly what I want to change in the chapter. Once that’s done, I’ll line-edit once more, and then I’m going to subject my darling project to the all-seeing eyes of my older sister, Elizabeth. Once she’s done with it, it’s off to my beloved beta reader and crit-partner. If it passes her muster, then I know it’s ready! And when I know it’s ready, I’ll be posting it here so you guys can get a sneak peek before April 15.
With that in mind, back to writing!