1. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Help with Beginning

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Killer300, Aug 31, 2011.

    Okay, I have this story with a theocracy that... unforunately isn't going along too well. Considering this is plot creation, I was hoping for tips on how a novel should begin. Now, this is very different from novel to novel, but are there general tips that one can apply? Or, is this something so personal and specific that no help can be given? If the latter, then this thread was pointless, and I apologize for starting it.
     
  2. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    All I can really say is this, and it may not even be helpful: start as late as you can.

    And by that, I mean start as late into the plot as you can. It often helps when conflict is presented right away to draw attention. I've seen some books that spend a few pages in the beginning merely describing a single character's history or something like that, but I sometimes find it hard to read through that.

    Action and conflict are good, they get the reader interested. They want to know why this conflict is occurring, how it started, who's involved.

    I hope this helped, and if I think of anything else I'll let you know.
     
  3. CadillacXLR8r
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    CadillacXLR8r Member

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    I agree with Backbiter, and also, it helps if you have what point of view you're going to use. If it were first person, maybe do what Backbiter says but without really mentioning any names right away (To keep the reader interested in what's going on) and that might even work in third person (You might have to work with how you bring the main character in) but if you can get the reader wondering, they'll want to find out. I find that whenever I read a book where I don't know something, and I put it down, I am always wondering in the back of my head what is going on.
     
  4. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Ah, thanks guys.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    In general, I think that a story should begin inside some active moment that is very important to a character. It doesn't have to be a life-changing moment - if you're a good enough writer it could be as trivial as a character _finally_ getting a bite of dinner after a twelve-hour shift at work. But it should be important to the character in the moment, and the reader should start right inside it, feeling the importance.

    ChickenFreak
     
  6. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    A good story starts FAST. Nobody wants to start a book by reading about a character waking up, having their breakfast and then searching for their keys before they walk out the door and get abducted by terrorists. The best place to start a story like that would be the moment the character steps out the door. Sweep the reader up in the narrative immediately.

    A good way to think of it is: Start the story from the moment that the world changes for your main character. Whatever event triggers your plot, that should be the first event of the book.
     
  7. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Establish the characters. Starting in medias res is a quick and easy way to get to the action, drama, and meat of the story, but no one really gives a damn about the characters.

    Introduce the characters in their daily life. Establish their relationships, the setting, what the hell is going on in their life. Let your readers say "Hey, this is a pretty cool guy. But what's the plot-"

    Then drop the bombshell - the readers will feel the shockwaves.

    Do not start too fast, people will think you're throwing blood, gore and pointless violence in just for the lulz.
     
  8. jmmagatph
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    jmmagatph New Member

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    Establish the setting immediately if possible. Describe thoroughly how the main character or hero is at the beginning. Describe what his state of mind is or what the state of environment he revolves in. The length, could be as short as a paragraph or several paragraphs. Depends on how you want the story to pace. Then when you're satisfied with establishing the character or setting, introduce the event that would trigger the hero's quest.
     
  9. MarmaladeQueen
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    MarmaladeQueen Senior Member

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    I agree start as late as possible, but not so late that the reader gets pissed off with you playing games with him/her. I really hate books that deliberately withhold information at the start to "hook" the reader. Yes, start with the confleci, but tell your reader what the conflict is.

    You're setting out to tell a story, not to play underhand tricks with your reader.
     
  10. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it often works better to start with something intriguing, right off the bat.
     
  11. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    Basically you have two schools of thought here, telling you completely opposite things. :) You need to go with what you, as a writer, believe fits with your writing... but read all of the advice that goes with whatever option you choose.
     
  12. Batgoat
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    Batgoat Senior Member

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    Start your story whenever and wherever you please. In the first draft, it doesn't really matter. Nine times out of then, the start you write at the onset and the start that starts the actual final copy are often vastly different creatures.
     

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