I’ve been working on a new book. It goes back to my epic fantasy roots and I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve written a synopsis, done a bunch of noodling in the world to figure out how things work, maps, character descriptions and so on. I could probably keep on going forever doing that. But sooner or later I have to start the book.
Now for the big question–where do I start?
Well, that’s a thorny question, don’t you think? Or is it easy? Should be easy. Just begin at the beginning. I mean, that’s obvious, right?
Or maybe not.
That’s the trouble. Sometimes finding the beginning isn’t that easy. I’ll use this WIP as a for instance. I have quite a number of POV characters. So first question–who’s point of view do I want to be in first? What event do I want to start with? There’s a mass of events that will weave together into a broad plot. Which means building the foundation (oh, how I like to mix my metaphors) and then putting it together. But at the same time, it’s easy to freeze and say, oh! What if this is wrong? And then stew stew stew and type and delete and delete.
So I have chosen a spot. Is it the right one? Hell if I know. And it doesn’t matter. With Blood Winter, I ended up adding something like 8 new chapters to the beginning to make it right. I added three to Path of Honor. The point is, you have a vision and sometimes you just have to start. You have to dig into your characters and world and see what happens. Follow the story and maybe you started at the beginning and maybe you didn’t, but you started and let’s face it, of all the blank pages that are killer in a book, the very first one is the most unnerving and most difficult to face. So throw some words on it and get past it and figure out whether it was the right spot later.
And remember, as Neil Gaiman said recently, Enjoy the Ride.