Friday, June 23, 2017

The hardest part of writing...

Over the years, I've heard all sorts of "hard things" about writing from both authors and people who want to be authors, and every one of them has a different "hard thing" that trips them up. Some people tell me they can have a great idea, but don't know or can't figure out how to get it on paper. Then others have told me they can start strong, but the story falters and they never finish it. While even others have mentioned they can get the beginning and end perfect, but it's the middle that trips them up.

For me, the hardest part of writing comes down to two sentences: the first one and the last one.

The first sentence of a new story is the one that needs to entice a reader. It has to bring you into the story enough that you want to read the next one, and the next one, and the next one. It has to make you wonder what will happen next, or how the main character got to where they are in that first line of their story. That's why a lot of writers say staring at a blank first page gives them pause. How do I begin this? I know what the story is, but how to I start it?

Secondly, the last sentence in a story needs to tie up the entire book? It needs to supply a fulfillment to the reader. This one is a completion of the story, yet, if it's a series, needs to lead into the next book. It needs to satisfy the reader. Is this enough information? Is it too much? Will the reader understand? Or have I just pissed everyone off with a cliffhanger? Eek!

These are just a few things that go through my mind when I start and end a story. Right now I'm battling with a blank first page of my next story. I've done research and written plenty of notes, tips, scene ideas, and random sentences, but I haven't gotten the actual first line on virtual paper. Once it comes to me the stories usually flow quickly and smoothly, but it's a matter of getting those few words written.

Wish me luck!