The "First Draft" Start

The start you have in your first draft doesn't have to be good, for the same reason nothing else in your first draft has to be good – you can fix it later.

In fact, the most important thing for your first draft start is that it inspires you to write a first draft. Or, second choice, that it at least allows you to write that first draft.

So you should not be spending time perfecting your start if you haven't finished your first draft. That's a newbie mistake.

In fact, typical advice is that you cannot actually choose where to start your book until you know your own story. The idea is that you need the perspective of the whole story to choose the best place to start.

However . . .

There is one good reason for trying to decide on a start before writing the rest of your first draft. Your story should build on what the reader has already read, so your first draft tends to build on your first draft start.

Suppose you write a draft based on this start, then change it. With a different base, you might have to change more of your following story than your really wanted to. Of course, you also might not have to change anything.

I will suggest this. Take the idea that inspired you to write a book. A hook. An awesome event. A interesting premise or character. Whatever. Then start with that. That's your best shot at a good foundation.

Then . . .

After you've written that first draft, when you are deciding on your best start, this website is for you.

First issue: Starting with setting versus action.