Thursday, September 17, 2009

Where to Begin

“I often have to write a hundred pages or more before there’s a paragraph that’s alive. Okay, I say to myself, that’s your beginning, start there; that’s the first paragraph of the book.” -- Stephen Koch quoting Philip Roth in The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop.
I find this happens with my stories. Most are only a few hundred to a few thousand words, but sometimes I realize after completing the first draft that the story begins in the wrong place. I’ve noticed this with stories I critique, also. I’m going to read through my works in progress when I finish this post to see if some of them should start later in the story.

2 comments:

Koala Bear Writer said...

Hmmm, I've seen this on other writing sites. We often think the story needs to start sooner than it does, that readers need more backstory and information that they do. Beginnings are tough!

Jim Harrington said...

Yes, they are. I'm working on a story today (Saturday) for a contest. It's had three beginnings so far. :)