For writers, what is the hardest part of a novel? Maybe it’s page 1 and page 400–and many big chunks in between. Some books go like that.
But today I’m more interested in what’s the most important part of a novel. Despite how crucial a good ending is, and how challenging the middle is, I think the beginning is the critical place. At least the beginning in terms of the musing you do before you write.
For me, first come the big-picture questions.
Big, sloppy questions.
1. What genre? Some of the aspiring writers I meet are surprisingly conflicted about what type of story to write. My only advice is to read in likely genres. Read a lot. Learn what stories you adore. You’ll be spending many years with them.
In my recent two books forthcoming from Saga, the answer to the genre question was Fantasy.