Today, I’m working on my first chapter of my work-in-progress. Since all my novels have numerous point-of-view characters, it’s sometimes hard for me to decide where to start. This feeling of angst I have when beginning a new novel reminds me of the pre-dinner panic when my kids were younger: there are too many people vying for one person’s attention, all with their unique needs.
But for now, I’ve settled on one POV. And, also for now, here is the first line:
No one told the rescuers not to talk, yet instinctively they sifted through the bits of brick and shards of glass as quietly as possible, ears perked for the slightest sound of human life beneath the rubble.
My goal is to write 1,000 words today. That’s not very much, but enough for a first step. I don’t know about other writers, but the first ten chapters or so are always the most challenging to me. There is so much set-up that needs to be done to introduce the characters and their motivations, to take the reader into the fictional world, to provide background of the historical time period, and to highlight the action.
For me, the writing moves FAST after the first ten chapters. But until then, 1,000 words that can accomplish all that’s needed for a strong opening is a huge accomplishment.
Don’t you think?