The last several months I’ve been under definite pressure to start this blog. I resisted for a while, but my friends (writers C. Michael Fontes and R. Garrett Wilson) were insistent and here I am. Blogging. Honestly, it’s a little harder than I imagined. Usually when I sit down to write, the words start flowing. Today I stared at a blank screen for several minutes before I could even think of how to start this post. I know exactly why, too. This is a beginning.
Ugh. I’ve never liked starting things. Ending something is only marginally better, but beginnings are horrible. I usually skip. In fact, in my current novel – my Alex project, and my last short story – The Betrayal of Mihangel, I skipped the beginning of both. For Alex, I started at chapter 2 then wrote on until chapter 6 before deciding I had gone the wrong direction, tossed out all of what I had written, and started again, this time with chapter 1. Somehow, realizing where I’d gone wrong in the first version gave me inspiration for how to start the second version.
It was the same with The Betrayal of Mihangel. Mihangel’s main problem – something I’ll get back to in a later post – is that it had a novel’s worth of plot. I knew I had to write it in 10,000 words, but how do you condense a novel into a space that small? Well, for ME, at least, it involved writing the key scenes first. Then I jumped around and filled in whatever was missing, including the beginning (which began to flow really well after everything else was figured out). It wasn’t an easy feat, but I have a short story I’m pleased with.
Anyway, the moral of this story, not everything has to start at the beginning. Because beginnings stink. Especially in writing.