Writing Excuses Notes: Beginnings

Here are some notes I took after listening to Writing Excuses.

It is an educational podcast that helps novelists/writers.

The topic is beginnings.

It comes from Season 1, Episode 4.

Beginnings

They’re tough.

Most writers don’t know where to start.

 

A Writing Tool

In late, out early.

Start as close to the action as possible.

End as close to the action as possible.

 

The reader doesn’t want to start with a huge setup or aftermath.

They want chunks to build ideas.

 

How important are the first lines?

They define everything.

It’s your first promise.

Your ‘hook’.

The sales pitch.

It needs to catch the reader’s attention and set their expectations.

They need to open it and HAVE to keep reading

 

Your first line doesn’t have to be the first line you write.

It doesn’t need to be quick and snappy.

It’s more important to establish a mood or a promise.

An ‘establishing shot’ works fine.

Conflict, dialogue, or motion work well too.

 

Don’t establish the world first

Start with a powerful image, but not the entire history of the world.

Plan to cut your first chapter.

You may replace it or not even need it, but it will always be your earliest crap.

 


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