Then, usually when I’m knee-deep in editing or something equally time-consuming, I’m woken up at night by a scene demanding to be written. Or sometimes it happens when I’m on the train. Whenever I least expect it. The strange thing is, once I have that first scene – even if it doesn’t end up being the first scene in the book, I’m fine. It’s the actually starting part that makes me draw a blank.
Another part of it’s a fear of running out of ideas, which is completely irrational, but we writers are an insecure bunch. ;) I manage to convince myself I’ll never think of a good novel idea again…and next thing I know, I have another five clamouring for attention! So I write notes down, which sometimes turns into a scene. Now I have so many projects on the go that new ones have started invading mid-draft. I never really got struck by the curse of the Shiny New Idea before last year, but I’ve actually written two whole books based on ideas that came to me when I was working on a totally unrelated project, and refused to let me go. Funny how the idea of starting can be so daunting, yet as soon as I stop thinking about it, that’s when it happens!
So now I try to write all my books that way – I do all the planning and then just let it go (*resists urge to sing the Frozen soundtrack*) until the first scene comes into my head and I just have to write it.
Am I the only one with this (rather strange) problem? How do you start a book?