Friday, February 11, 2011

Hogging the Blogosphere and Beginnings

I’ve the honor of visiting Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs today, discussing why challenges and blogfests rock!

Yesterday Lynda Young at W.I.P. It claimed she loved and inhaled my book! I don’t believe literal snorting was involved though… Thanks, Lynda!

Yes, I know – I’m hogging the blogosphere. I’ll stop…

Today is another edition of Fantastic Friday Writers! I invite your to check out my Fantastic Friday Writers partners - Elizabeth Mueller, Anastasia V. Pergakis, J. D. Brown, and Deirdra Eden Coppel - for their take on this subject. I’m sure it’s better than mine!

Once again, I’m sure my take on this topic will be way out in left field compared to my fellow FFW. Rather than post the beginning of my first chapter (because dear Lord, you’re not reading all that!) I’m going to do something different.

When writing, where do I begin? The first chapter. Yes, I create my characters and an outline, but when it comes to actual writing, I start at the beginning. I admire those who start at different points or write scenes and move them around. My brain just doesn’t work that way, though. I start with the first scene and don’t stop until I’ve reached the end!

Do you start at the beginning?

70 comments:

mshatch said...

ah, such a subjective question. where is the beginning? Hmm...anyway, no, I think I usually start after other stuff has happened - but I usally have lots of notes about the beginning :)

Misha said...

I start at the beginning and work my way through.

:-)

Liz Pezzuto said...

I tend to start at the "beginning" as well. Though, sometimes that beginning changes... I like to march through the story and watch it unfold as I write.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Blog hog!
I start mostly at the beginning, but I often pull back and add a scene.

Sommer Leigh said...

I always start at the beginning too. I can't wrap my head around the idea of starting anywhere else!

iZombie said...

great question i start by seeing the character and i start on the middle and then fill in the beginning and the end. i see it all in my head like a movie and just write what i see...

jeremy

Justine Dell said...

I need to put your book on my need-to-read list. ;-) That way, I can put you on my blog and there would be even MORE of you on the blogosphere!

Oh, I write the same way you do. I don't even outline. I do research of people/places/names, but that's it. I start at the beginning and run through the thing like a marathon! No skipping around for me.

~JD

DEZMOND said...

thank God, Lyndylove didn't sneeze out your book after inhaling it...

Susan Fields said...

Yes, I always start at the beginning. I can't skip around. If I get stuck at a certain point, I might narrate my way through that part without actually dramatizing it, but I still move from start to finish.

Happy Friday to you!

Tony Benson said...

Hi Alex. I always start at the beginning too. I have difficulty with the thought of starting anywhere else really, even though I usually have a pretty detailed outline for each scene in the whole story.

I just finished reading CassaStar, and I really enjoyed it. Thanks, Alex, for a good read.

Ciara said...

Yes, I start at the beginning. Except once. I had a scene in my head and the characters wouldn't stop bothering me to write it. Of course, it was the climactic scene so that is probably why. The villain was a show off and thought it would turn out better for him. :)

Happy Friday!!

Summer Frey said...

Oh yes, I am definitely a linear writer. It freaks me out to try to write out of sequence. Usually things would have changed by that point anyway, so then it would be wasted effort, you know?

jbchicoine said...

I always start at what I believe is the beginning, at the time. Sometimes that changes, but I don't write scenes from the middle and jump around. For a pantser, I love structure...

Jules said...

Oink, Oink! I start with the concept and develop what is clear in my head. Sometimes the beginning sometimes not :)

And Thanks Rango!
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Charles Gramlich said...

I have to start at the beginnign too and write pretty much linearly through a story. Otherwise my small brain gets confused.

Summer Ross said...

Alex- I'm not always sure I start at the beginning- I might start and find out it belongs toward the middle and have to rewrite a beginning, or sometimes I really do have a beginning, but then it doesn't fit the rest of the story so it has to be cut LOL.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sommer, me neither.

Justine, I'd be honored if you did!

Dezz, that would've been messy.

Tony, wow - thanks! I didn't even know you were reading it.

Summer, it would be like hitting a big wrinkle.

Jules, at least you know the movie title now!

Good to hear there's other writers like me.

Jamie Burch said...

I start at the beginning and a lot changes from my original outline as I go.

Yay to all the CassaStar love! My copy is on my bookshelf waiting for me to finish the one I'm currently reading. Finally jumping into the sci-fi genre!

Karen Walker said...

When I wrote my memoir, I didn't start at the beginning in the first draft. But many many drafts later, it ended up being chronological. With my fiction piece, I don't know yet. Things always seem to shift around at some point.
Karen

Carol Kilgore said...

Yes, I start at the beginning. I may actually even spend a few weeks on the first chapter before moving forward because it's the foundation the rest of the story is built on.
Have a great weekend.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

yep! I always write chronologically. Otherwise i wouldn't get anything finished

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

I have to say I always start at the beginning. Even if the original impetus was a scene that would happen much later. Also, I'm a big panster, so the beginning is good for me. On the other hand, I always seem to know the end.

Hart Johnson said...

I always think I start at the beginning, though I've had a couple that then I go in and write a little more early on. I HAVE gotten stalled and written leter scenes to get a feel for where something is going... I find that very helpful if somebody's voice is wobbling, so to speak...

ali said...

Congrats for the review, Alex!

And I'm like you, I start at the beginning and go go ho until I reach THE END.

Old Kitty said...

Yay Lynda loved your book - yes she did!!!

I start somewhere!!! I don't know where until I am three quarters in! Which kind of explains a lot of how I work and why I am where I am now! :-)

Take care
x

The Old Silly said...

I start at the beginning. One time, on my last novel, Beware the Devil's Hug, I wrote three different endings right after writing the beginning. Then I wrote the story out and as I went along I chose the best ending of the three. Worked for me, lol.

Jennee said...

I tried writing a book out of order once. It still isn't finished because it still doesn't make any sense. I will ALWAYS start at the beginning from here on out!

gideon 86 said...

Yes,

I start at the beginning and plow my way through just like you Alex.

Then the edits begin. On my first novel I ended up combing chapters cutting tons out. My second was a much smoother edit.

Michael

Will Burke said...

I try to start at the beginning, and did a prologue from the mind of a Gaia-type OverSoul, which I'll probably scrap. I've also back-tracked to keep the flow linier when introducing as new POV.

Matthew Rush said...

I love the way you introduce us to new people Alex. I try to check them out, but there isn't always time.

Colene Murphy said...

I'm a beginning gal too. When the beginning is written I can jump around, but not until then.

Her review was so sweet! I wondered if she snorted it too...

Paul Joseph said...

I start at what I think will be the beginning, but as my current W.I.P. has demonstrated, that beginning ends up moving. I have written my first chapter about five times now. The first three were cut altogether, and a few sentences from the fourth appear later in the book. I need to find my direction before I know where a story begins. I also believe a story doesn't always start where the book begins - if that makes any sense. Great post!!

Mary Vaughn said...

This little piggy... wrote a wonderful book called CasaStar.

Research and characters, the ending, the begining and then then scenes -- all mixed up like a movie shoot (or maybe just a writer with ADHD).

Melissa said...

I start at the beginning too. It's so much easier that way. And I like the story to unfold with me.

Liza said...

I have to start at the beginning...otherwise I get too confused.

The Golden Eagle said...

I start at the beginning, usually; I have been known to write a scene out of order, but most of those stories just don't work out in the long run.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

First, in answer to your question, I start on page 1 and go straight through to the end, after I do some outlining of the world I'll be visiting during the course of the story.

Secondly, you are by no means hogging the blogosphere. The blogosphere is so big that one person cannot possibly encompass it all. Also, the world has need of your voice, Alex. You've become a leader in your own right because of everything you've done, and if people don't like it, well then, they can see me.

(Pardon my bluntness if you will, but I think Cupid shot an arrow in my heart and has gotten me all pumped up to fight for any writer who I perceive may need a little encouragement.)

Aleta said...

I'm not a writer, so I'd have to assume I'd start from the beginning.

However, one of my cousins loves to write. She's been known for writing a scene in a notebook and jumping around the storyline writing various scenes.

I figure whatever floats your boat, as long as the muse can swim :)

Bossy Betty said...

You go right ahead for hogging the Blogosphere! We adore you!

I tend to get my characters into trouble and then try to get them out without having any idea how is is going to happen! Makes life interesting!

M Pax said...

Yes, I'm like you. I have to start at the beginning. I can do edits out of order, but not the first draft.

Raquel Byrnes said...

I almost always start with the climactic scene and work backwards. Is that weird? I didn't know it was.
Congrats on the great review!
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I do start at the beginning. :) Lately, I've been writing straight through the book, but if I run into a roadblock, I skip to a different part of the book.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jamie, thanks - that's awesome! It's not hard-tech, I promise.

Marvin, that's a unique way to do it.

Colene, it's a lot to snort!

Thanks, Mary!

Thanks, Jeffrey - I needed that!

Thank you, Betty.

Raquel, you do what works for you!

A Beer for the Shower said...

To me a good story tells itself. Therefore it has to start from the beginning. The beginning is where you fall in love with the character, and the reader should fall in love with them as well (in a completely platonic way. Let's not create another Edward Cullen if we don't have to).

Helen Ginger said...

Yes, I start at the beginning. Or, at least what I think is the beginning.

Nahno McLein said...

Same here, but I might delete the beginning and start at a different point if necessary.
Nahno ∗ McLein

Lynda Young said...

Yep, I also always start at the beginning. I just find it easier -- even when I have an outline.

Thanks for the linky love. :)

Lynnette Labelle said...

Dude! Where have you been? We've missed your puzzle brilliance. ;)

Lynnette Labelle
http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

alexia said...

I start at the beginning, but where I go after that is anyone's guess! I've definitely been known to skip around.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I didn't know that there are writers who don't start at the beginning. That's fascinating.
Happy Friday and weekend, Alex.
xoRobyn

Ella said...

The beginning is always best, but I think sometimes the middle can show up and throw you a curve ball. I will go and check out the links!
Always love to read various perspectives on writing. I now just have to decide which book to begin with. I have 7 in my head...eeny, meeny, miny, moe

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Beer, understand!

Lynda, thanks for the review love!

Lynnette, it crashed my computer last two times I tried.

Robyn, you've learned something new.

Ella, you have a lot of options!

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm usually a pretty non-linear thinker, but NOT starting at the beginning and going forward would be enough to hurt my stomach! :)

Abby Minard said...

I always start at the beginning and write till the end. I can't jump around either. Even when I'm revising and editing I have to start from the beginning and continue straight to the end.

Arlee Bird said...

Since I don't have anything finished yet it probably doesn't matter that much, but several of my WIPs were started from ideas that come in the middle or toward the end of the story and I had to come up with ways to start them. Now I need to focus on one thing and get it finished.

Lee
Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011

Ocean Girl said...

For my posts, I start right in the middle of the scene;)

Stephen Tremp said...

Heard Breakthroguh Blogs is awesome! I'll stop by and leave a comment.

Lydia K said...

I definitely start at the beginning!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

I don't usually start with the beginning. I start amid something interesting, sticky almost so as to snare my reader. But the tricky thing is to keep the ball rolling throughout the story.

It ain't easy being a writer, but it is SO fun!

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥


Happy weekend, Alex

She Writes said...

I am afraid I only know how to start at the beginning. Hopefully someday I will find the beginning is only the middle!

Andrew Green said...

I pretty much have the entire thing already written in my head before I even type out the first word....

Len Lambert said...

Haha! I like that Lynda 'loved and inhaled' your book :) That's an awesome way to describe it!

Hmmm, in writing, I always start at the beginning, at least I think I am doing. Then when doing 2nd and 3rd draft, if I feel like re-doing the first few chapters, thats the only time I decide :)

Thanks for sharing your writing style, Alex! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Abby, that wouold seem the best way to catch mistakes in the story...

I admire that ability, Lee and Ocean Girl!

Stephen, you should!

She Writes, you never know.

Andrew, for the most part, so do I.

WritingNut said...

I'm with you... I usually start at the beginning and work my way through. I've always admired writers that are able to write various scenes at different times, and then connect them all back :)

The Words Crafter said...

I tend to start pretty much anywhere and then I have to figure out what happened, why, who's involved, etc. Then, it magically just lines up. Sort of....

I have a goodie for you on my blog today!

Kimberly said...

I have to start at the beginning to and write to the end. But, I sometimes go back during the revision process and rearrange things or add chapters in between when I realize its not working.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Words!

BodieP said...

Do I start at the beginning? Yes, but I keep making new beginnings. As time goes on and I get a better feel for what's happened to the people in my story beginnings sometimes become transitions, or beginnings of flashbacks, and sometimes they become the beginnings of other books entirely. For me, writing is a voyage of discovery in a land for which no map exists. Yes, as a matter of fact I DO write slowly!

BodieP

Patricia Stoltey said...

I write straight through from beginning to end, sometimes with a plot or scene outline. Can't imagine writing scenes out of sequence.

Karen Peterson said...

I always start at the beginning. It's a very good place to start.

I really don't do a lot of outlining. Character development, sure, but then I just go for it.