April 2019 IWSG: First or Last

Hello everyone, and welcome to another Insecure Writers Support Group day!  Spring has sprung here in Missouri of the USA, but winter is still playing tricks. I painted my toenails JUST IN CASE one day will be warm enough to wear the flip flops. I also shaved a leg or two, but enough about my hygiene. Just know that I am ready! Now let's read on about my IWSG topic.
This post was written for The Insecure Writer's Support Group and brought to you by founder Alex J Cavanaugh. This month Alex has the help of these co-hostsJ.H. Moncrieff, Natalie Aguirre, Patsy Collins, and  Chemist Ken! Please go visit them! The optional question is: If you could use a wish to help you write just one scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be?

So which chapter or scene would I like help with? I thought a long five or six minutes about this and my answer is that it would be either a first chapter or a final chapter. 

Both the first and last of anything we do is worth doing right: living young to old, beginning and quitting a job, starting and ending relationships. Life is more fulfilling that way. The same with the first and last chapters of a book. If we fall short on either first or last chapters, then our story will not satisfy the reader. 

The first chapter needs to lure, hook and pull the reader in. It should move the story forward, read like butter and after all that butter...hang onto the reader.  Yeah, think about that one.
First impressions are huge, but...
Last impressions are equally huge. Endings bring the reader front and center where they will seek meaning and where they're considering your invitation to Come back and see me sometime...okay? You want the reader to want more of what you do with a story.
First and last chapters are important and it matters how you do them. So I choose...both.  Yep, I'm no good at decision making. 



The endings are hardest for me, for sure.

We had snow here yesterday! But it's 70 today. :) It's a wonder we're not all sick (knocking on wood!)
No reason the wish can't cover both.
We didn't have snow, but yesterday was in the thirties - and today will be in the seventies!
I find that how well I know how the story will end (the last chapter), the easier the first chapter is to write. :-) The weather here is schizoprenic, too. :-)
Carol Kilgore said…
I agree. I rewrite the first chapter umpteen jillion times and then tinker with the last one at least that much. Happy April!
Rachna Chhabria said…
I rewrite my first chapter so much, I wish I would focus that much on my last chapter.
emaginette said…
Both definitely have challenges. I don't doubt you're up to it. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette
I have a confession to make. When I am reading a book I always, but always, flip to the last few pages before I finish. I am told this makes me a bad reader but I can't remember not doing it. The final chapter/pages matter that much to me. I can cut a more slack for the first chapter...
cleemckenzie said…
I have been known to end a story too quickly. One reviewer accused me of that with one of my books, and after damping down my indignidation, I took a look. He was right. I could have done more with it. Oh well, write and learn.
Jemi Fraser said…
I find tying up all those threads into a pretty package so challenging!! That would be my choice :)
Hope you haven't shaved those legs for nothing!!
Hi Teresa - writing posts and bringing sense to them can be a trial ... decisions, decisions ... they're not easy are they. Toenails - mine are still covered up ... and probably will be for a while - our summer is usually a little later on. How many legs have you got ... sometimes I'd like an extra one or two?!?!? Made me laugh and probably will sit in my brain for a while as I ponder the leg scenario ... or perhaps you're like the Isle of Man with its three legs and rotate as necessary ... perhaps I'll stop this idea - before the middle gets completely bogged down, not soggy though! Cheers and enjoy Spring springing - Hilary
Mary Aalgaard said…
Crazy spring in MN, too. You're right about the beginnings and endings. We need to keep working, writing, researching, sharing, and (for me) actually finishing a project!
Arlee Bird said…
It's not so much that I have a difficulty with writing last chapters--I'm not totally sure because I never have seemed to have gotten that far in my writing.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out
Nick Wilford said…
It can take me a while to really get going with the first chapter, and then the last one can turn into something of a wrestling match to wrap everything up (and include a twist), so I see what you mean. Mind you, I can struggle with the middle too!
Chrys Fey said…
"Both the first and last of anything we do is worth doing right." So true!

I'd want help with the first chapter. I do pretty well on the last chapters of my stories.

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