including-my-madness  asked:

I'm having trouble with my setup. I have my inciting incident and first plot point down but it's the first chapter that I'm having trouble with. I know it's the fear of it being the selling point for readers and agents. What should I avoid besides obvious cliches? It's a fantasy novel and I'm stuck at a crossroads. In my opinion everything has been done before, I just don't know where to start. I feel absolutely hopeless as a writer for being fearful of my own stories beginning.

Just write it. Doesn’t matter if it’s a string of cliches (for now). Get what’s in your head and your heart onto that paper or that screen. Whatever gets you to your second act and whatever gets you to your third act – or however you plan to structure your story – it’s all good as a first draft. First drafts are crap. They’re supposed to be. 

Agents and publishers aren’t going to see your first draft, with some exceptions for already-published authors of course. Even then, I’ll bet Stephen King has some real manure filed away that no one will ever see, and he turns in polished first drafts to his team. 

If you’re truly stuck, then jump ahead. Then, think about how to get from your first plot point (we’ll call it Point B) to what you have written, which might be Points G-I. Caution: You’ll need to keep organized if you do this so you don’t lose track of what you’ve done. Personal experience talking here. 

And yes: Everything has been done before. But not by you. So that’s not anything you need to worry about. When you go back to edit, that’s when you start looking for the unique threads you’ve woven in, and pulling out the cliches and anything that’s inauthentic to what you’re trying to say. 

Our main tags page is here. We have numerous sub-tags under Plotting where you might find something specific to your needs. 

tl;dr: First drafts are crap. Keep writing.