The First Word...
Write... write... write... When you talk to most writers or writing coaches they'll tell you write more. Keep writing, don't stop. Write everything. If it's in your head you should be writing... Seriously? Because I can have some pretty craptastic stuff running around in my head throughout the day. I'm not terribly interested in writing jibberish and dog-speak... to me that's a waste of time, trying to put into words the stuff that doesn't even make sense in MY head.
But then again, that's what's in a writer's head sometimes - especially a fiction author. Silent conversations, ideas for characters, miscellaneous plot pieces, descriptions of stuff you are creating - in the world you are trying to create. I've tried notes - to assemble later in larger chunks, but I always come back to them later and go; What? What the hell is this? What's that even mean? I don't know, it never seems to make any sense to me at all - a bunch of random stuff jotted down.
What I have done, is woken up in the middle of the night, or day, depending on my writing hours, with an entire scene in my head. Conversations and all. THATS when I run to the keyboard and write it out, knowing it will be useful... somewhere. It's usually a predicament for a character; it could be humorous, it could be action, it could be introspection... Then somewhere along as I'm writing, it will simply fall into place like a puzzle piece. A prime example of that is in Dark Cover in Chapter 26, titled Blackout. The first thousand to fifteen-hundred words or so were one of those wake up and write episodes. That particular piece was written while I was still quite early on in the book.
Other times it can be when I'm trying to get a character out of a jam I've written them into. I just can't see a solution. And in a day or two, if I let it simmer in my head, my subconscious will figure it out using the characters and their points of view. And sometimes those are the best plot twists - because they come out of nowhere.
But... BUT... the first word... The starting point, for me, that can be the most difficult place. More so because I have various plot lines which can be divergent - and knowing which one to start with. Deciding what is the most important for the reader, what will build the most anticipation... Now, the Prologue has been started, that's color and history for the book, a little back story. The real story starts on Chapter One...
So, I'm thinking... let's ask YOU, the reader. If you've finished Dark Cover, and you're looking forward to Book 5, where do YOU think I should start? Leave a comment or send me an email... let's get this adventure started!