April 8, 2013 by Nichole Eck
I’m experiencing this terrifying moment with a novel concept I’ve been developing for about a month.
I’ve written character backstories, brainstormed a basic plot, and found books to read through to research the historical setting.
But I have no idea where to start!
How can I possibly decide where a literary life should begin? I have my character’s entire existence stretched before me (several existences, in fact, because his character arc could still go several ways).
So how, in all the infinite possible realities, am I supposed to find a perfect moment that will
- interest the reader,
- show key characteristics of the main character,
- reveal at least one conflict in the novel, and
- do everything else a good beginning is supposed to do.
It feels like an impossibly tall order.
So here is what I will repeat to myself until I have written the first chapter:
The scene I begin with will (sadly, joyously, and inevitably) not actually be the starting scene my novel will end up with.
How do you get over the fear of starting?