From The Writing Cave

Starting in the wrong spot

June 15, 2021

Some writers will tell you the most challenging part of writing a book is the beginning. Staring at a blank page can be daunting, but usually, I already have ideas flowing, so I just dive right in. Usually, I have a few chapters down in no time, and I am well on my way.

Somewhere at about the three-quarter mark of the book, I start to realize that maybe just maybe, I started in the wrong spot. That thought haunts me all the way to the end when I finish the first draft. It stays with me until I sit down and start my edits.

I don’t know if any of you are runners, but there are some crazy (well, crazy to me!) people out there that when they run a race like a 5k or a 10k, they have to run a kilometer or two first before the race starts to get warmed up and then they run the race. That just blows my mind! Run more than you have to? Seriously?

Sadly, I am often that runner when I start a book. I usually (more times than I would like to admit) start the story in the wrong place. Meaning those first chapters that I dove so confidently into my story with are actually not useful at all. I have started to think of them as my warm-up chapters. They get me moving and get my characters on the page.

I guess they aren’t such a bad thing since they allow me to start a new story without hesitating, but it’s always a bit heartbreaking when I have to cut 7k-8k right out of the gate. Maybe someday I will release my warm-up chapters, and you all can read the very beginning of my books. Or maybe not…