Saturday, July 10, 2010

I'm Stuck.

Perpetually so.

I literally can't move forward, no matter how hard I try. I'm stuck on writing a beginning to this book that will make people want to keep reading. I can't get the tone right. The book is kind of dark, with the themes involving lots of depressing and scary things that my character valiantly overcomes. She's not whining, she's just resolved that everything that has happened has made her better.

Am I trying to hard? I don't really think so. I, myself, just books less than a chapter into them. I believe in my story, and ill-modestly enough... I honestly feel that it's pretty good. But I would put it down before I finished the first chapter, because I can't get it right.

Solutions? I'm desperate for one.

<3, Bethany


  1. First off What age is the MC? If they are in their teens and you're doubting the voice maybe you should have a teen read it over and ask what they think? Another solution is to study, look at all the books you read, check out how they started, then ask yourself this, "What made me want to keep reading this?" then look back at your current chapter you are writing and ask yourself the same question, "What would make me want to read more?" Try ending the chapters with a cliffhanger. Every chapter like it is the little bit that makes readers and even yourself as the writer say, "ouuu" and then go from there.

    I hope these little suggestions helped. =)

  2. I'm just an aspiring author myself, here, but ask yourself what you're POV character wants most at that time. What is his/her goal? What stands in their way? And what happens to stop them from achieving that goal? (Scene and Sequel setup)...

    Dwight V. Swain offers up a good way to build conflict through scenes and sequels in a book called Techniques of the Selling Writer...

    I posted a breakdown of Scene and Sequel on my <a href=">blog</a>.

    I hope that link worked. I still haven't gotten this blog post/linky business figured out completely. :D

  3. Thank you both very much for the comments! I appreciate it.

    What I ended up doing is waiting. Much like writing an essay, sometimes you have to wait until the paper is done to write the introduction. I'm continuing with my editing with a tentative first chapter, and I'll come back to it.

  4. This is my two cents for what it is worth...(which isn't much)

    Just write it. Get it over and move on. If you continue to fuss over the first chapter you'll never move on.

    As you write, the chapters in your book are going to evolve and change. Your characters are going to evolve and change. It's going to happen.

    Maybe the reason your having problems is because your not giving your character time to grow as their story unfolds.

    Although I am not a professional, as I write: my characters, the story, the settings, everything changes. As new things develop, quirks or whatnot, I have to go back and change things in previous chapters.

    I've read some of your stuff. I think you are talented, and also, if I remember correctly, you did the same thing before.

    Stop nitpicking, and move on. Get your story down. When things pop up go back and add it in. I can almost guarantee, the character you have now will have all sorts of personality adjustments as the story progresses.