Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Game On Chronicles: The Early Chapters

I decided to chronicle my process for working on publishing my third book.

As much as I wanted to take a break after publishing Shots on Net, I was feeling, well, empty. I had been spending so much time writing, editing, deleting, rewriting, etc., that I didn't know what to do with myself when I wasn't writing anymore. Even though I swore I needed a break from writing, I needed to get right back on track with the next story.

I had started a manuscript back in 2011 for a story I called Game On. I remember the premise for it, but I can't tell you where I left off. So I decided to start reading through it, reacquaint myself with the characters and the plot, and then figure out where to go from there. When I left off years ago, the story had twenty-six chapters, which is pretty long for my novels.

As soon as I started to reread it, I got pulled right back into that world. On Monday, I read through and edited the first six chapters. Yesterday, I went through chapters seven through nine. There is a bit of rewriting that needed to be done because the story is over two years old. There have been a lot of changes in the NHL since then! The lockout last season, the realignment.... There are lots of little details that now have to get updated in this old story.

The beginning of a story is always very tricky. I want to make sure I give the reader a good feel for the characters without giving too much away too soon. To me, characters are like real people—and you don't learn everything there is about a person when you first meet them. That only happens over time.

And, of course, there has to be enough action at the beginning to suck the reader in. If the beginning isn't good, then there's no incentive to keep reading.

What do you think makes a good beginning?

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