Trish Wylie has been posting on her blog lately about the Blank Page, or starting new projects. She's posted about knowing your characters and also about what a great beginning needs to accomplish. I commented that I sometimes hate beginnings, but that's not strictly true. Nicola Marsh pointed out that beginnings are wonderful...the thrill, the rush, and she's right. Many times I have a story just waiting to be told and I can't wait to get at it.
The series is particularly timely for me as I'm putting together a partial for the Romance line right now.
But beginnings do have big challenges. There's a lot that needs to happen in a first few chapters, and it's like this very intricate dance. Everything needs to balance, just so...or else it seems either awkward and clunky or rushed and incomplete.
I think my biggest challenge is deciding how much, and what, needs to be revealed in the first few chapters - establishing the threads, the themes, the characters and conflicts. And these all have to be done with a delicate hand...not too little information, not too much. Add in to that you need to keep pacing snappy so that your reader wants to turn the page, it becomes a huge challenge. I end up going over those first 3-4 chapters more than any other section in the book, guaranteed.
That being said, I've made gangbusters progress on the new wip, to the tune of 4,300 words since yesterday. It's all rough, and I'm sure my cp's will have oodles of suggestions for how to tune it up...but it's a beginning, so I fully expect that. It's like anything else...you lay a good foundation and what's built on top of it will be much, much stronger.
To read Trish's series on Beginnings link here.