Getting Past Chapter One


So many first pages. So many new notebooks with ‘Chapter One’ sitting proudly at the top. So many scribbles of ideas and thoughts in the middle of the night that are forgotten by morning. So many characters, fully formed with personalities and catchphrases that just don’t make it on to the paper.

So what’s the plan? How do we make it past that? I’m currently on chapter four of my first novel. I’ve plotted out beginning, middle and end. I’ve got subplots and minor characters and all these things that make me think “this is it… this is the one!” But what I need is help. My husband has promised to remind me to write on nights when I’m sitting in front of the TV, in the hours when my son is napping or just when the moment strikes. The other day he said “If you feel like you want to write then write. I don’t want to get in the way of that.”

But I’m scared. What if this isn’t the one? What if I get eight, nine, even ten chapters in and realise I can’t make this the whole way. The finish line is too close and the word count wouldn’t even hit 50,000. Is all that wasted time?

Writers of the blogosphere, twitter-world and further afield – I can’t be the only one scared of this. I need tips, tricks and advice. When the going gets tough I don’t want to put my pen down declaring “But there just isn’t any more to say.” It’s my first attempt at a novel, and I know there’s one in me. How do I get it down on paper? Help me to figure all this out. I’m so new to the writing game, the blog game, the social media interaction game and I’m scared that by the end of 2015 all I’ll have is a few chapters and a lost idea.

What do you do? What are your ways of dealing with the fear that strikes? How do you get past chapter one, chapter eight, chapter twenty-two… without it all just disappearing? I need help guys, and I need it from you – other people who are going through or have been through the same thing. Are you out there? Did you make it to The End?

Thanks for reading! Please comment and answer any and all questions asked in this blog! My plea for help is sincere. Follow me on twitter and instagram at @mumwriting. Share, like, comment, retweet… I’m only just at the beginning of this journey.


7 thoughts on “Getting Past Chapter One

  1. I have never written a novel, so I can’t give any advice. My feelings are that the writing you do is not wasted time. To have a goal and to pursue this is very important. Think of the journey and what you learn from this. Enjoy the the journey! Best wishes, Kathy


    1. Thanks for reading and replying Kathy! I never think of it as wasted time because I enjoy it so much – it’s relaxing time for me when I can unwind and it that’s all it ever is then I think that’s OK. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey! I’m writing a novel myself, even though some people laugh at me because i’m so young, I’ve been writing it since i was fifteen and i stopped for a year but i’ve came back. In that year, I wrote several short stories, just to keep my talent up. Nothing publishable but it was a break. Then I came back to what I was writing and realised that I hadn’t wasted time on it. I just needed to fix the plot holes and make it more mature. Sometimes, you need to waste time just to learn and develop, even if you don’t finish this, who’s saying that all your work goes to waste? You’ve learnt, you’ve realised what works and what doesn’t and those chapters won’t be completely useless because it may be possible to use characters, lines, plots, catchphrases etc. For other work, don’t give up, just take it one page at a time. Writing is never a waste of time.

    Hope I helped out a little, I have a creative writing section on my blog and have started posting teaser chapters of something that I hope will get published, It’s called Burn and i’m up to chapter two, let me know how your novel goes! xx


    1. Hi, thanks for reading and commenting! Good idea to keep writing short stories and things even when you’re not working on your main project! Good luck, I’ll check back to see how you’re getting on.


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