Saturday, September 1, 2012

Starting a New Chapter

Sometimes simple little things slip by a new writer. When I sold my third romance book and started working with a new editor, she pointed something out that I hadn't noticed. I had two chapters in a row that started with the characters in the same room, having a serious discussion. Even though many days had passed between the two chapters, the scenes were way too similar. The editor pointed out how important it is to start each chapter differently.

Don't start each with an action scene or a love scene. Don't start with an intimate discussion or the very worst, with your main character waking up in bed.

I think this can apply to many things in life. Today I won't be visiting many blogs because I'm in Boston, dropping my daughter off at college. For over eighteen years, the two of us spend most of our hours together when I wasn't working. We've traveled hundreds of miles together, just the two of us, visiting family and colleges. I have five sons, so it was always the two girls against all those guys. We definitely had them out numbered. Now she's moving on to the next part of her life, and I am too.

 I'm going to have more time to write. The house will be quieter. I'm going to read a good book and not be able to go lay on her bed while we talk about it. She's not going to be bugging me to check out some cool picture on Pinterest. But it's all good. I'm going to feel more like a nearly full time writer. I'll have more me time. I'm going to start a new chapter and it's going to be different than the chapter before.

This month, I'm the featured author over on the TBR blog run by that paragon of energy, Cate Masters. As a reader, you find some great stories on the blurb fests and by meeting some great authors each week. Please stop by and visit. If you might be interested in being featured, check with Cate.

So have you started any new chapters in a different way, either literally or figuratively? Are you prepared for the change of seasons? Are you taking a late summer vacation on this Labor Day weekend?


  1. This year without your daughter will ease you into that full time writer position next year. Hope you two had a good day today.
    And six kids? Whoa...

  2. I think I might be guilty of starting too many chapters with my character contemplating her situation. I may have to go check on that today, now that you bring it up. :)

  3. I tend to start my chapters with world building, and it's something I need to get out of the habit of doing.

  4. That'a a great reminder, Susan. I'll have to tun through a couple of chapters and check for it. I am so'o'o ready for fall (can winter be far behind?)! But first there's a week on the OBX in September before I put the flip-flops away.

  5. It sounds like you have mixed feelings about your daughter starting her new life at college, but it'll be good for both of you. Honest. Me, I'm more than ready for autumn, but here in Georgia, no matter what the calendar says, the temperatures are still pretty darned toasty.

  6. New chapters mean growth and that's a good thing. It's an exciting time for your daughter too. I envy her future adventures.

    I am ready for the seasons to change, but around here it's not very obvious until December/January.

  7. I think that's a good idea to vary the chapter openings. I'm not sure there's a wrong or right way to open a chapter though, probably depends on the story.

  8. Thanks for sharing this with us. I look forward to hearing about all your new daily adventures as you start a very cool new chapter.

    Cheers and boogie boogie.

  9. That was some good advice. Now I want to go check my WIP and see where my characters are and what they are doing.
    Since I'm a grandmother, I've had some of those changes happen to me. It's a good time to discover yourself. That's what prompted me to start writing.