Writing Books/starting


"My biggest problem is starting a book.  I know EXACTLY what I want to happen.  I'm starting a book now about a guy whoe falls in love with someone he cannot have.  It's in first person and I have most of it planned out and will probably be fine once I get started.  It's just I never can start a book.  I always used to wish that the first chapter was always already written.  LOL.  Any tips to start?"

Dear Brandon,

Thank you for writing.

Start in the middle, or at the end, or with a few lines of dialogue that you may have already thought of; a book doesn't have to be written in a linear, sequential fashion. That's a common "myth" I've found among many of my own writer friends, etc.

The best place to start is whatever hits you first, whatever impressions come to you. They'll find their way around once in the end; the important thing is just to write something -- anything -- and don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself to complete the first page/chapter. Let it be the creative, flowing process it's meant to be. It will start to almost "write itself" once you get in the flow of things.

Good luck with this.

All Best,
Catherine Van Herrin

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Catherine Van Herrin


I am an American-born, native English speaker with a BA in English and more than 26 years of professional editing, writing, and proofreading experience. I have edited several books and book-length manuscripts. References and titles available upon request.

For further work or assistance with larger projects, see my profile here, with 190 excellent reviews: WordChannel Professional Reviews, Ratings

I can use British-English or American-English, and I am very familiar with Chicago and AP style.


More than 26 years' U.S. publishing industry experience, editorial (print). I provide crystal-clear, clean grammar; strict attention to style, consistency, flow, logic, accuracy, and spelling, and I work quickly and efficiently.

I do not format or provide technical assistance in publishing books. I use MS Word only.

If I can help you further, contact me at the website above (create a job request) or write to me at ceg33@myway.com. My rate is $0.008 per word. Send requests/inquiries to ceg33@myway.com. I accept currency only through PayPal, with 50% of the total at project initiation; the balance is due upon project completion.

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AA, Liberal Arts, Anderson College, Anderson, South Carolina. BA, English, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. Post-graduate concentration: Post-war Irish poetry and early 18th century English fiction, Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas.

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I have worked with authors in the UK, Canada, the US, and several other countries. References and titles available on request.

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