Day 1

Word Count: 0

Hey Reader,


Okay, sorry. I had to get my excitement out before I could start this post. I’m so prepared for this… maybe not as prepared as last year, considering I’m starting from scratch, but I’ve still done my fair share of planning. Last year I rewrote a story I already had started. In fact, I ended up using some of the older drafts in it later on. I was writing for characters I already knew and about places I was already familiar with… It was easy.

I’m sorta kinda freaking out because this year, all I’ve got is a blank slate. Well, and all of those notes and my outline. I haven’t written for these characters, and most of them I haven’t even figured out their names. Actually, I only know one. I feel like I should already know that…  I mean, I’m about to start writing about them.

Last year I felt like the best parts of the story were the ones I came up with on the spot, so I didn’t try to overprepare this year. I’ve been wondering all day what my first words are going to be…

Here are a few ideas for all of you who are also struggling with the first words:

  1. Forget them. You can figure it out later. Write what you know about the story first and then fill in the blanks. You’ve got all month to get that straightened out.
  2. Write the first thing that comes to your head, and then go from there. For all I know, my book might start with, “I’ve never liked potatoes…”
  3. Write something that encompasses the entire theme of your story. If you were writing a book about denial and loss, you might start with, “Mandy didn’t lose her phone. She just… didn’t know exactly where it was at the moment.”
  4. Start your story with dialogue. I think this is the easiest for me because the dialogue is the easiest for me to write. At least in my eyes, it tends to be the best thing about my stories.
  5. Start it off by setting the scene. Maybe that’s your best writing skill, describing what’s happening. This is especially effective if your story starts off with action. It gets the reader sucked in immediately. For me, I’m kind of scared to try that right now after not writing for a while…
  6. If you don’t already know what you’re writing, then think about your concept in terms of your favorite movies or books. Let’s say you want to write about a boy who’s dream is to play football as a career. Now think about your favorite book/movie opening. Does it start with a description? Then try describing the football field just as the sun is going down. Does is start with action? Then start off the story when there are eight seconds left in the game and tensions are high. Don’t copy your favorites, but don’t be afraid to pull from them.

I’d recommend writing a few different openings and then choosing the best one at the end of the month. In fact, spend this whole first day on your beginning. Don’t worry about your word count just yet; it’s only day one. Even if you only get 300 words in today, at least you’ll have a good foundation to build on. The ball will start rolling on its own from there.


Thank you for reading and don’t stop writing!

XO, Kelli


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