Banging out Chapter One

I prefer the title “Writing Chapter One” but that, beautiful people, would be misleading.

I’ve created a chapter from a story told in scenes.  In case you ever need to do the same, I’ll let you in on my soon-to-be patented process.

Step 1:  Mash up several scenes to include all the stuff you want to introduce first.

Step 2:  Hack away at the newly mashed chapter until you see a logical storyline(s).

Step 3:  Chop as needed until you achieve your desired word/page count.

Step 4:  Mix and shake around for continuity.

Step 5:  Re-write to create even tempo and flow.

Step 6:  Review your newly minted first chapter until you can no longer tell whether you’re making it better or worse.


It seems that I’m ready for the editing consult, doesn’t it?  Excellent.

As long as I don’t suck.  Come to think of it, suckage is better than mediocrity.  What if they smile politely and rubber-stamp, “Nice effort” while gazing off into the middle distance?  Then, once they believe I’m out of earshot, “Gawd, when will my promotion come through?  I can’t bear the tedium of these sessions!”

I probably shouldn’t have taken out that best bit…I should go over it just one more time….Wait, where is that best bit?  Tell me the recycle bin hasn’t been emptied….


31 thoughts on “Banging out Chapter One

    1. Thank you, Rich. Has anyone told you today that you’re awesome?
      I hope so, but if not please consider it done. 🙂
      It turns out that it is, in fact, a great exercise regimen. A little painful, but funny once you get over the pain…or get used to it….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Danica. I’m fortunate that my wife tells me everyday how awesome I am (I often question her judgement but she won’t back down). My cat also meowed at me in a way that indicated he thinks I’m an awesome cat dad. So I consider myself lucky to have your compliment as well. Not sure I can live up to the hype, though. 😀

        Good luck getting over the pain or getting used to it. All of your efforts will pay off.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Fantastic, we’ll hold off on the petition! I believe you’ve already lived up to the hype. 🙂

          I’d welcome some luck and hopefully I’ll need less and less. Thanks for your kind words, they’re much appreciated.


  1. My problem w Step 2:
    I’ve been hackin away for AGES & just end up w too much incoherent & illogical guff
    logical storyline(s) seem(s) way off yet
    Step 4 is what frustrated Brad does when he puts on his red shoes and dance th blues
    After 6 months, my laptop has miraculously fixed itself so i can concentrate on me Dashboard now and perhaps get Step 5 sorted out!
    But hey! I can turn out my Fartlighter Bradventures w no worries – maybe THAT opus will see the light a’ day 1st!
    Thanks for Liking & Following my medievil work

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I understand these challenges. For Step 2, maybe take some time away. Sometimes coming back fresh can help.
      Step 4, putting on your red shoes and dancing the blues is where magic happens.
      How wonderful that your laptop has miraculously fixed itself! Step 5 will come together.
      Things happen in their own time, and your work that takes longer simply takes longer.
      I’m delighted to follow your medievil work and looking forward to more. 🙂
      Have a wonderful day and happy writing — or banging out — as the case may be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Took some time away from th medievil, but now – w additional research – ready to tackle it from a fresh perspective
        Yes, it’s important to get th right words: I wish u well w banging out amazing material; if I said u keep banging on, well, that just sounds too disrespectful!
        All th best

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Time away and additional research will help with that fresh perspective and I hope you get the results you want. Is it possible you’re being overly critical of your work?
          Ah, getting the right words! When it happens it’s a beautiful thing. I wish you the very best as well and know that you’ll produce some mighty fine results. Haha 🙂 there’s always room for misinterpretation, isn’t there?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I need to b my own harshest critic – w my Monastikon, I need to take into account th nuances of 12th century life in addition to shaping th right plot and content
            Looking forward to revising some of the drafts already published! Some Posts only consist of notes, quotes and music so loads more needs to b done!
            Here’s to getting the right words!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. That’s a ton of work! Your attention to detail will yield wonderful results.
              Very best wishes for smooth revision of your already published drafts! That’s quite a project and I know you’re more than up to it. The right words will be there for you!

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Kevin

    Hi Danica. You have an obsessive quality about your writing which I find inspirational. “Suckage is better than mediocrity.” I once wrote a review of a band that I categorized as “relentlessly adequate.” Ouch. However, I know every song I write isn’t going to be my “best,” – they can’t all be “best” – so sometimes I have to settle for “ok” which, ultimately, is still better than “sucks” (I think…).

    “…until you no longer can tell whether you’re making it better or worse.” As a songwriter, that can be a dangerous place to be in. Is that a different experience for a writer?

    Try not to fret too much about the results of the editing consult. You just keep doin’ your thang, baby. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kevin. Interesting! I haven’t heard ‘obsessive quality’ before and I’m delighted you find it inspirational. Relentlessly adequate – lol, ouch! 🙂 I’m reflecting on ‘ok’…maybe it’s not so bad for songwriting especially in the context of an album. If a couple of tracks are deemed ‘ok’ and the rest are better, then overall that’s a success.

      I agree that it’s a danger zone when you can no longer tell whether your revisions are improving or damaging a piece. I stop and step away at that point, and hope I recognized the danger zone in time.

      Thanks so much — I’ll do my best to keep doin’ my thang, unhindered. 🙂


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