Rewriting the Opening


I recently realized that my first chapter starts in the wrong place – the backstory. I just rewrote it to present time and the opening is much stronger!

It was bothering me for weeks, the feeling that something was wrong with my story. Once I could put the problem into words and pinpoint what was bugging me, it changed everything. It sounds obvious, doesn’t it, that starting in backstory might create some difficulties, such as the opening lacking immediacy or a heightened sense of stakes? Sometimes a book can open in the backstory and be quite riveting, but in this case it was lagging.

In my defense, my backstory was actually written in present tense, which was masking the problem. That’s what happens when you’re writing a time travel novel. It takes a while to figure out where to open the book!

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