This discussion about beginning to write a book began August 22nd; and, you may want to read the post at that linked date to catch up…
For those who don’t like to take links, here’s how I introduced the discussion:
“This…conversation could be wide-ranging…
“…each person is capable of devising some extremely unique ways of beginning—there really are no magic step-by-step methods to book writing…
“…of course the beginning-to-write depends on what’s to be written—poetry, fiction, non-fiction, metafiction—each category full of endlessly unique opportunities which all could demand particularly singular beginning efforts…
“…the actual beginning of beginning to write a book can be many things:
— capturing the concept of the book
— organizing the ideas of the book
— realizing the fullness of the book’s theme(s)
— admitting to yourself that a book is waiting to be written
— finalizing the sometimes painful process of realizing you actually should write a book
And, there are very special circumstances when a book seems to refuse to let itself be begun…”
So, since it only takes one comment on any conversation post to continue the discussion, I was glad to see two comments for this one…
The first response was from an author/publisher in Germany:
“The beginning of the pre-beginning is usually a strong emotion like anger or a ‘discovery’. Discoveries might be potentially insignificant like the relative sizes of trees; or, in one case the name of a street. I make a mental note and keep my eyes open in case other ideas start sticking to the first idea. This may happen soon or take a year or two. Then one day the accumulated ideas have gained weight and signal to me that they want to be written down. I try to ignore the urge. Instead, I allow the idea cluster to develop strands. At the right time, I sit down and write it all down.
“There have been stillbirths and false starts. One false start had to wait for a year before I could rewrite it into (what I think, at least) my most important book to date.”
I was expecting methods of beginning to write a book to be different than mine; but, this one surprised me by being something I could never imagine doing myself—gathering ideas for over a year; then, adding idea-strands to the cluster—it seems impossible to me to hold all that in a mind without writing anything down… :-)
Though, this author must have a quite remarkable mind…
The second comment came from an author in the United Kingdom:
“My books usually start with a person or a situation. They are the ones that get finished. Perhaps more interesting are the ones that come to a halt. One stopped because I was trying to write like Stephen King and felt it was a pale imitation. Another stopped because i found the story less interesting than I had hoped and didn’t have any idea how to spice it up. I was writing about someone with a love of houses but couldn’t convey the delight they had when looking over property for sale. I needed to go round some but didn’t really have an excuse. I didn’t want to lie or waste an agent’s time!
“The ones that get finished usually make a point, like how we treat the disabled or how to beware of scammers, even how to cope with redundancy! When I’m writing with a purpose the story gets completed.
“I’m not writing one at present – waiting for inspiration.”
Much about this author’s beginnings makes sense to me; yet, much of the detail is very different from my approaches…
If you’d like to know a bit about my approaches, check out the first post in this discussion…
So, to hopefully encourage you to add a comment to this part of our conversation, I’ll list the questions I asked in the first part of it:
Have you had a book’s beginning happen to you…?
What could you imagine as the process of beginning to write a book…?
Are there some ultra-special factors in your wanting to begin a book…?
What are the unique circumstances of your book’s beginnings…?
How long does it take for a book to begin…?
How do you think the beginning a book should begin…?
Why did you begin a book…?
Why do you want to begin a book…?
Yes, I’m strange enough to think that the why-of-the-beginning is part of the beginning…
Have you begun more than one book…?
How have the different books’ beginnings begun…?
And, to add just one more:
If you’ve never written a book, how would you Imagine beginning the process………?
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…