Welcome to the Darkside...

...join me, Akasha Savage, as I brave the deepest dungeons and scale the misty mountains to achieve my dream: to see my novel Bathory in print. I will take you by the hand and keep you beside me as I cross this uncharted territory...

...let us step into the moonlit darkness together...

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Once upon a time....

Is it just me or do other writers have a hard time finding a good beginning to their stories? I'm not talking short stories here - I've never had a problem when it comes to starting one of my short stories - it's my novel, Bathory, I'm talking about. It took me absoultely ages to find a beginning I was truly happy with. I rewrote my first chapter five times before settling on the one I have now. I either wasn't happy with the character I chose to start the story with. . .or the location it took place in . . .or the dialogue . . or where I picked up the action: was it too early in the story?...or too late?

Without a doubt Chapter One was the hardest chapter I have had to write so far. But I am finally happy with it.

Have any of you stumbled across the same problem?


  1. Hi Akasha! Believe it or not, I've never had a problem starting, but that's only because I was the kid who my mom said, "I was so happy when he finally learned to talk, but once he started he just never shut up." Maybe you are just more of a careful thinker.

  2. Writing a novel is a monumental task, Akasha. So, don't be at all surprised that you're writing and rewriting chapter 1. I've seen this happen many times. People do struggle with Chapter 1, and whether or not to include a prologue, etc. I've come across this issue myself. I started to write a novel years ago, and stopped because I was stuck at Chapter 1. And then I just kept writing everything else in the novel, and when I thought I was done, chapter 1 just sort of came together. You are not alone! :-)


  3. I know what you mean about beginnings to novels. I've rewritten the first chapter to mine four times now ... and I'm still not 100% pleased with it. Blerg.

  4. I'm having the same problem at the moment, but I don't want to spend to much time playing around until I've completed the first draft. I've set myself a deadline so after June when I start my second draft I can play around until I'm completely happy.

    Good luck with your novel

  5. I have just discovered your new location, Akasha!

    When you talk of dwelling so much on the beginning of your novel, I assume that you still have the rest of it to write.

    I am rethinking the idea about labouring over the beginning of a story. I am trying to follow the advise of many others and let the story flow out. There is time to go back later and rework it.

  6. Rick ~ I've never really thought of myself as a careful thinker...I'm always quite impulsive and do most things before I even think them through...it was just Chapter One of Bathory I had trouble. I think it's because I want this novel to be the best I can make it!! :D

    Nevine ~ I admit I was a good way through my novel when I rewrote the first chapter for the final time, and it then just seemed to fall into place. :)

    Rabid Fox ~ I think we writers are never 100% happy with what we produce; we always think we could have done that little bit better.

    Jarmara ~ I too have had to give myself a deadline, otherwise I'll just faff about getting nothing serious done!

    Alan ~ I am actually on the final draft of my novel, it was just chapter one I kept having problems with for ages...even when I'd written the final chapter!

  7. How fare are you along now on the Bathory novel? Just wanted to check in and see how you're doing.

  8. I like Rick's term "careful thinker"... I might be one of those although lately I've been forcing myself to just write and review later.
    I've read somewhere about Dean Koontz that he stays on a page until he thinks it's perfect and only then goes to the next one.

  9. Hi Rick ~ I am on my final draft of Bathory. I am starting at the beginning and going through it all with a fine-tooth comb; my other drafts are just rough copies and need quite a bit of polishing off. I aim to edit one or two pages a day - although I don't always have the time - and some of the facts I wasn't sure of I'm now double-checking. I'm hoping to stick to my deadline of June for agent finding...but we'll see.
    Thanks for asking; it keeps me focused. :D

    Vesper ~ I'm very much like Dean Koontz in that case! I find it really hard to go forward unless I'm happy with what I've already written...very frustrating at times!