Just Get Started Already

Writing is so tough for some people. But, I’m going to rant for a minute. It cracks me up what I have to deal with sometimes.

Just Get Started Already

A guy is pacing his floor, throwing his football up and down, looking out the window, banging his head against the wall…

“The night was dark and salty…”

Salty, I don’t think that word works all that well. Not salty. The air can be salty I guess, but the night wasn’t salty.

“The night was dark and lonely…”

Well, I guess the character could have been lonely. But, night doesn’t get lonely.

Our guy paces the floor a bit more with his football. He puts it down and pours himself a short glass of his flavor. He takes a drink and paces the floor a bit more as he grapples over what word is going to follow, “The night was dark and…”

Just Get Started Already

It is in my personal experience that I’ll have no idea how to write the beginning until I get to the end. Oh, I know what direction I want to take with what I’m trying to write. I know that I have to start somewhere. But, I have never started from the beginning.

Try to follow what I’m trying to say. I figure out where I would like to start the story. So, I just get started writing the story. I figure out every nook and cranny of the story until I get to the end. That’s when I understand everything about my story. So, I return and I start all over.

Now, I know how to build the intrigue. I know how to start the first sentence and what words to use because now I know the real story. If you have ever endured reading three hundred pages of a Stephen King novel only to discover that the book was just beginning, then you know what I’m talking about.

He is the master of telling an entire story before the actual story begins. Well, I’m not saying write a three hundred page introduction every time. But if you know the basic elements of a story, then you know that introductory information exists.

You need setting and character development. You have to have some rising action to get you to the climax where you have falling action and a final conclusion. That’s all called the plot of a story.

Well, the setting and the rising action might all be understood before you get started writing. But, where is that first sentence going to come from when you are ready to write? Don’t worry about it…

Just Get Started Already

When I teach others to write, I always get an episode like the one depicted above. Whether they are writing an essay or a story, they just can’t seem to get past that first sentence. Let your writing tell you the story, then come back and write the beginning all over again.

If you have any questions or concerns about this entry, feel free to drop a comment. I’ll try to explain it another way if I have to do so.