Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chapter One: Starts and Beginnings

“The single biggest problem with openings is that writers have a tendency to want to begin at the beginning. They want to start where it all happens first so they don’t leave anything out. But the truth is nothing starts at the beginning, at least not since the time of Adam and Eve. Everything starts in the middle of something else, and that’s where it ends, as well. So you might as well jump in somewhere interesting as somewhere boring, and bring the pieces of the story and its characters together as you go along. Choosing the important components of your story ahead of time – and discarding the unimportant ones - will help you do that.” — Terry Brooks

“One of the easiest ways to spot an inexperienced author is what former Wizards of the Coast editor Mark Sehestedt described as “weather report, fashion report, travel report.” This is when a book begins with a lengthy description of the roiling gray clouds traced with ominous flashes of lightning then slowly but surely moves on to what the character is wearing—exactly—and how long and what color his hair is, before finally resting into several pages of the history and customs of the realm and the difference between a flugle tree and a tizzleberry bush, so that you’re most of the way through chapter one before anyone says or does anything." --Philip Athans

1 comment:

Babel said...

Ouch! Sounds too familiar! And what sounds like really good advice from Terry Brooks! Wonders never cease...