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Why Starting a New Story is Hard for Me

Why Starting A Story Is Hard For Me Jillkemerer.com/blog

Three hours. I spent three hours writing 1066 words (but who’s counting?) on Monday last week. After I quit for the day, I was so frustrated I went off my health plan and snacked on my emergency M&Ms.

I’d barely gotten into my new story, and it already felt impossible.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love writing a new book. It’s exciting to form the story I’ve been mulling in my head. I get to know the characters. They surprise me every time! And the setting begins to breathe. Each scene builds on the next, and it gets easier each time I sit to write.

But…the first pages. First 50 pages? (100? The entire thing…? Haha!) They are HARD for me!

Here are some reasons why:

  • My first draft is where I research the setting details. While I know the main stuff–the town, the season, the exact spot where the particular scene takes place–I don’t always know the terrain or what the characters would see. Details matters to me, so when I’m unsure about something, I turn to the internet.
  • I don’t know the characters all that well when I begin the book. The things they say, the emotions they’re feeling, and little things like what they’re wearing all come to me as I type. Sometimes I have to stare in space and contemplate it all before I can move forward.
  • Chapter 1, especially, puts pressure on me. I have a LOT of things to get across in these pages, and I try to find a way to make them all come together organically. I rarely succeed on the first try. And often I have a nagging feeling until it’s smoothed out.
  • While I always have a strong synopsis written before I begin a story, the page by page points aren’t always obvious to me. Sometimes deciding how to start a scene is the easiest thing in the world, and other times it’s torture.

The bottom line is that the choices I make in the opening pages affect the rest of the story. One wrong turn, and I’m rewriting for hours. Who has time for that? I’d rather spend time figuring out the best course right away than have to fix it all later.

My goal is always to grab the reader from page one and to not let them go.

When was the last time a book grabbed you from page one and didn’t let go? I’m always on the hunt for book recommendations, so please share in the comments!

By the way, in one week my Christmas novella will be in stores! It’s part of a 2-in-1 bundle titled Western Christmas Wishes with Brenda Minton! More info and purchase links can be found by clicking on Western Christmas Wishes. Have a fabulous day!

What Are Your Goals?{October 2019}

October 2019 Goals Jill Kemerer Blog

It’s time to set monthly goals again! I didn’t plan on taking a summer blog break, but I’m glad I did. Both of my kids are seniors this year. One is a senior in high school and the other is a senior in college. I had my hands full getting ready for this!

With the change of seasons brought a return to my routine. I do love having a routine! I’ve changed the goal format slightly by breaking my goals into three categories: writing, health, and other. I hope you will share yours with me in the comments!

Jill’s October 2019 Goals

  • HEALTH: (Long-term goal – Lose 10 pounds)
  • Track calories 6 days/week with MyFitnessPal
  • Exercise 5 days/week
  • Eat more high protein and high fiber foods
  • OTHER:
  • Check out a local park I’ve never been to
  • Read the Jody Hedlund novel I ordered
  • Watch Halloween Baking Championship (because it makes me happy!)

October is usually an ambitious month for me, and this one is no different. I like to push myself before the holidays distract me.

What are your October goals? Leave a comment!

Stop back next month to see how I did and what I plan to do next. Have a fabulous day!

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