What it be like

A character, with a problem, in a place. How and where to put setting into an opening can be tricky. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to do it, and none of them are better or worse than another. Is your character alone? That's a choice, not something that has to be set in […]

Character in the first scene

There are lots of ways to begin a story, including lots of creative ways that have nothing to do with a character. If you open with setting, that setting has to have attitude, voice, opinion–in short, a life of its own. Which makes it a character. In fact, I recently read an excellent book in […]

How to Start Writing a Book (or Story)

Every so often I get, not so much a question, but a comment that is trying to gather the courage to become a question. Someone will say something like, I've always wanted to write X, but I wouldn't even know where to start. I tried to help one lovely person who has a very interesting […]