I’ve been wondering this since yesterday. I feel a little better about it today. It’s just that, some of the passages in my story I’ve written many times, but I’ve stopped myself because I didn’t have the whole outline in place and I felt like I was writing without all the facts. But still, that feeling is there, the feeling that I could keep editing forever. I won’t let that happen though and while I’m waiting for feedback on my outline I’ve switched back over to my actual story. After all, I have a completed outline, nothing’s really holding me back from writing.
My new goal is to finish the first act, which I’ve decided is the first 6 chapters, and then have the outline cleaned up. Perhaps shop the first act around to friends and then work on finishing the book proposal. Actually wait, that’s not really a new goal. New goal: have more fun writing.
How About a Little Info on What An Opening Chapter Should Accomplish?
I recently looked this up to see how mine compares. In the process I found a cool author’s website with many interesting articles/resources for any writer: http://www.darcypattison.com/
An article titled: Open Chapters of Novels Must Accomplish These Goals had the following requirements:
-must grab reader’s attention, ground the reader in the setting, intrigue the reader with a character, and give the reader a puzzle to solve. Check, check, check, check.
-Also, start with a scene (meaning, character enters a situation with a goal, encounters conflict, does not achieve goal) and hold off on back story. Sort of check and…well, I have two paragraphs in my opening chapter that could be considered backstory.
We’ll see what happens. I think those are good guides, but they don’t need to be ruled with an iron fist. 1984’s opening chapter is mostly flashback/backstory.
Anyway, you can check out the entire article here: http://www.darcypattison.com/revision/opening-chapters/