Monday, July 16, 2012

Getting Started

For some reason, I find it hard to get started. Whether it's doing dishes, cleaning, exercising, or writing. But once I get going, it's easy to keep going.

It takes about ten minutes before I feel like I can jog for an hour. It takes about twenty minutes before I really get into writing. And cleaning... well it takes a while (usually when I'm almost done).

The other day I was trying to convince my son to read a book and he says, well actually he kind of whined that it took to long to get into a book. "It's not until the 5th or 6th chapter that I really get into it and I don't want to invest that kind of time to get there."

Yes, this is the market and a lot of us are trying to write for. That's why that first chapter is so important. You need to ground the reader, make sure they can visualize what's happening, leave a little mystery without being too confusing. Let's see, what else. Oh yeah, you have to make the reader want to continue. No small feat. That's probably why I've rewritten my first chapter so many times.

Because we want to make sure that our readers don't too long to get started.

14 comments:

Connie Keller said...

I agree with you about the importance of the first chapter. And they're so, so hard to do well. I find that I rewrite the first chapter many, many times.

Anne Gallagher said...

Oh man, I so hear you. I've rewritten the first PAGE of my current WIP so many times I have a file of scrap just for that! Grounding the reader. Teasing the reader into reading more. It's just so hard. *whine*

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Hooking that reader in the first chapter, even in that first page, is hard! But it's important. I'm like the others, I usually revise my first chapter several times.

Emily R. King said...

So very true! Grabbing a reader's attention is tough to do. There are so many other things hoping to snag their attention too! I've spent countless hours on my first chapter. It takes a lot if work to get it right.

Martin Willoughby said...

The easy way is to start with action and let the tension build up from there.

The better way is to make the characters engaging, which is also far harder, but more rewarding in the long run.

That said, one person's dull book is another person's all-nighter.

Sarah Ahiers said...

ooh 5 or 6 chapters is a lot! Though i felt like the Book Thief took some time to get in to, but i kept with it because i knew it'd be worth it. And it was

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm constantly rewriting my first chapters. Sometimes it hard to get things right.

Bonnee Crawford said...

Getting started can be really hard, I see where you're coming from, especially with writing.

Nailing the first chapter is extremely important! I can understand where your son is coming from. I'm likely to put a book down if it hasn't grabbed me quickly enough.

Misha Gericke said...

Definitely. Readers have to be drawn in almost immediately. :-)

mshatch said...

I think endings are harder, tying all those loose ends up, making it satisfying, and leaving readers wishing there was more.

Goku shrestha said...

same here. its so hard to get started but once i do it feels okay

Margo Kelly said...

Agreed. First chapter, first page, first paragraph - - - so important!

....Petty Witter said...

With many adults having the '100 page rule' in which they give up if a book isn't proving enjoyable I suppose it makes sense that younger readers give up after the first few chapters if they aren't finding a book readable by then.

LTM said...

Great points about Chapter 1! It's usually the most revised part of every book I write. :p <3