Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Where to start?

I have an idea in my head for my next WIP. It's a fledgling idea that I've been playing around with. I've written a couple of scenes that would take place later in the narrative but I'm stuck on where to begin the story. I have two ideas right now on places to start:

(A) The first idea follow the Hero's Journey idea of showing your main character in their ordinary world before the call to action. We'd see the heroine interacting with friends and not so friends, giving you a glimpse into her world. This opening would also give the reader an insight into her internal GMC.

(B) The second idea would show the heroine's abilities put into action and set up the heroine and hero's external GMC. This would also start up the mystery/action arc of the story.

I see advantages to both but haven't been able to decide which way to go. At this point, I might just write both scenes and see which one is stronger. And on the topic of openings, here's a blog post from agent Kristin Nelson on starting your story off in the wrong place:

Starting a novel in the wrong place


Sheila said...

That's funny -- I had read that same blog posting and had thought about doing an entry on it, but you beat me to it. :)

Most folks say to start with where the action starts. I like to start just a few beats before that, to give a little sense of who the character is. The one time I didn't, the response was pretty much a universal, "You started too late -- give us a little background on why we should care about the character first!"

But that's my experience. Your mileage may vary.