I don’t know about you, but for me the beginning of a new book is the hardest part to write. When inspiration strikes it’s usually in the form of a vague story idea and the story climax. I’m very much a plotter. If I don’t hammer out a rough outline I’m just going to keep spinning my wheels. I’m finding the more detailed my outline the better. Still, no matter how much pre-planning I do before I start writing, I still struggle with the beginning of the story every time. I’m not sure what it is, but I inevitably rewrite the opening of my book multiple times before I’m satisfied enough with the opening to move on to the rest of the story. For example, with my latest WIP I actually rewrote the opening to change the point of view character as well as where the story starts chronologically. In this case, I also needed to rewrite one of the characters. I wasn’t happy with how he was developing and needed a stronger character as I moved ahead.
I know they say to just keep writing, you can always go back and edit later. If it were at any other point in the book I’d usually do that, but not at the beginning. I think, for me, I need to feel like I have a solid foundation to build on. If I don’t have all the story threads I plan to follow in the beginning of the book it’s a distraction that I’ll ultimately get tangled up in. It will nag at me until I go back and fix it. Call me crazy, but that’s just how I operate. Once I’m past the story opening the story seems to fall in place a bit easier. Perhaps it’s because now I’m more comfortable with my characters and where I’m going. Maybe it’s that I find my rhythm and I’m better able to go with the flow.
So tell me, do you have trouble getting over that beginning bump? Do you need your story opening just right before you move on? Is there another area of the creative process that you struggle your way through?