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I've been suffering from writer's block lately and I can't think about someway to start my new chapter...I can't even figure out whether the problem is a lack of ideas or writing skills or... Any help!

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Introduce the Scene:

I always start by making sure my reader knows where they are at the start of the chapter. A new chapter is one of the best places for a story to transition to a new scene, so make sure they know if it's the same place and characters, or a completely different setting.

IF you do any telling-not-showing, the start of a chapter is the place. But it's also a wonderful place to give a vivid description of the place the character(s) are in, what they are doing, how they are feeling, and what they are thinking (who-what-where-when-why). Set the emotional stage for the chapter as well. I personally like to have teaser first lines, with drama, but I don't always get good responses. So even before I say something clever, I at least establish who is talking/thinking and where they are.

It's also a good way to ground myself in the scene, thinking about the details of the situation. I often have a vivid image in my head of what is going on, but be sure to get that image in your reader's head. What would the character be wearing? How would they feel? What were they doing right before the scene started? Never have a character just waking up. I have occasionally had a character regaining consciousness, but that's different.

You don't need to cram all the details into the first paragraph, but it is good to have the details in mind so they can play out as you write. Use the details to flesh out the scene, and let each one carry some kind of emotional value.

For example, something as simple as messed up hair can reveal a lot about the scene. Mussy hair can convey stress ("she shook her hair in frustration") or relaxation ("She casually ran her fingers through her mussed-up hair") or it could tell you about the weather or her personal habits ("the wind had messed up her otherwise perfect hair"). A vividly painted scene is like stage dressing that makes the rest of the chapter flow.

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