Seriously, they aren't.

I am working on the rewrite of Mirror, Mirror and I can't seem to find a beginning that sticks. Maybe I'm just a perfectionist, but I really really do need to have a good opening in order for me to continue writing, because if I am not satisfied with the first paragraph or two, it will haunt me until I get it right.

To me, the beginning of the book is supposed to be dipped in the character's voice. It doesn't necessarily have to be shocking like the beginning of Jellicoe Road or Shiver but it has to have character, it has to fit.

It has to be able to hook the reader in any way possible.

Here is the latest beginning of MM:

Everyone is jumping, laughing, enjoying the sun-kissed day. Everyone, but me. As arms rise to the heavens, and clothes are lost, I lay back on the grass, and look up at the sky, wondering if my mother is looking back.

Already I see something that I need to change.


This is why I don't get things done. I am really really nit-picky.

What about you guys, do you obsess over the beginning as much as I do?


I definitely obsessed over the beginning of Pandora. I still do, actually, and just recently changed it. I think that's the nature of the beast - perfection isn't quite attainable. We, as writers, want perfection, but we're also our worst critics. Sometimes the best perspective is that of an objective third party outsider. If I may, I enjoyed the beginning you posted, though I feel it could be stronger. Perhaps there would be a way to incorporate the character's mother into the very first sentence...that would completely hook me :)


Beginnings...soooo important. And soooo hard to write! Paralyzing sometimes.


Beginnings rank right up there with head-bashing, perhaps because it is what will be seen first with an agent, our foot in the door. I completely worry about my beginnings and obsess how to start each work with the exception of my edgy contemp and it begins "I open my eyes." Honestly? The only beginning I really like would be a major no-no but it's staying. Great post.


I've rewritten my first chapter 24 times to date. Like, major, fully written chapters that I come back and edit to fix minor details, then COMPLETELY scrap to rewrite.


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