Figuring out the first scene in your book can be tricky. It's the first thing your reader is going to read, so you want to hook them and get them wanting to read the whole story. But the scene should also make sense within the overall story. You have to make sure this particular scene is the right one to open the book. Once you figure all of this out, then you have to make sure you actually write it so that it meets these requirements. But like most things, it isn't always easy.
I've been thinking a lot about the first scene in my book lately. Actually, I've been avoiding it. I know I need to rewrite it so that it makes more sense and hooks the reader more. I've always known when and where it takes place, and pretty much everything that happens in it, but despite that, I still can't get it quite right. So lately I've just had no idea what to even do with it.
I think one of the problems is that there's a lot going on, but not in the scene itself. There's a lot of exposition--the narrator is conveying a ton of information to the reader and I'd say only half of it is actually relevant to the scene. It's important to his character, but it really doesn't need to be said within the scene itself. So I guess I've already figured it out. I should move this information to another scene. I really have no idea how to bring it up now, but that's probably a blog post for another day.
The second problem is that while the first scene is necessary to the story, it does kind of require some catching up on what has happened before the story begins. I've basically always had this idea that these books would start with the main character already in the middle of some scheme, because that's basically what he's always doing (especially in the first book when he's only 15, causing trouble is pretty much his only hobby). So this first scene is actually the end to something he already started, but it sets in motion what is actually the main plot of the book. So while it is necessary, there is some needed explanation. I just worry that it may seem odd to the reader.
The good thing is that I think I'm on the right track to figuring out my first line. I was never really crazy about the way I had it in the second draft, but I had no idea how to change it. A few nights ago I came up with something, and while I don't think it's perfect, I think what the line is saying is where I want it to be. I think it's getting the point across, but I'll probably need to rewrite it a few times to get it exactly the way I want.
So these are the editing issues I've been tackling lately. And that's just one scene!