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The Writer's Guide to Beginnings by William Martin, Paula Munier

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Chapter One

In the Beginning Was the Word

Anatomy of a First Page

“At the beginning of everything is the word.

It is a miracle to which we owe the fact that we are human.

But at the same time it is a pitfall and a test,

a snare and a trial.”

—Vaclav Havel

“The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.”

—A.B. Yehoshua

"Tell me a story."

These are words that have resonated with us from our very beginnings as a species. Story is part of what makes us human; in fact, storytelling is one of the few human traits that occurs in all cultures across our known history.

Since the dawn of man, we’ve gathered around the fire, telling stories to understand the world and our place in it, to process the past and prepare for ...

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