1. thabear637
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    thabear637 Member

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    help with the beginning

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by thabear637, Sep 9, 2008.

    Hello, I'm working on my first (well..second one i've started, but this WILL be the one I work all the way through) and I have a list of characters, bio's on them, and the basic plot of the story, but I just can't figure out how (and in what age frame) I should start it.

    Basically...the story is about a guy who makes a deal with the devil (doesn't know it's the devil) to save his wifes life when she dies giving birth. He then has to become the grim reaper and do the devils work for him. The twist in this will be when his assignment is to kill either his wife or his son (haven't figured that part out yet) and instead fights internally to free himself of the contract and to save his wife/son.

    What I want to do is build the story a good bit, showing the love and care he and his wife have before this all takes place. They met at college, got married shortly after that. He was from a poor broken home and she was from a rich family. They didn't approve of him, so she married him regardless and broke herself off from her family.

    I know all of that happened, and I don't want to bore readers (even if i'm the only one reading it lol) of all that information by starting the story there, I could just use that information in the middle of the story..I guess.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as far as how far back to start?

    I was thinking of these different possibilities:
    1) in college, around when they met
    2) After graduation
    3) After his job offer post graduation
    4) When she finds out she is pregnant (this one I like the most so far)

    Does anyone have any opinions..or have any other suggestions?
     
  2. Shadow Reeves
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    Shadow Reeves Contributing Member

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    i suggest, if you havent watched ghost rider do so, which has some similarities...well the start bit anyway and may help you with your ideas.

    personally i think that a good avenue to take if you want it in the modern day setting.
    when she finds out she is preggers as he is a middle age or young and up coming buisness man, so that if his change in becoming the grim reaper is gradual you can have some commedic scenes trying to hid it while he is working. this would also work in the college senario i guess.
    i think that you may have to research this a bit as the grim reaper and the devil are two different religous identities, devil is catholic, where i think the grim reaper is norse(not entirelly sure)
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is no "best" answer. It all depends on how you want to tell the story.

    What matters about a beginning is that you get the reader invested in the story quickly, and in an important character. Always pose more questions in the reader's mind than you answer, so the reader is hungry for answers. Don't introduce more than one character at a time, especially in the fiorst few paragraphs. You may have appearances by one or two other characters, but let them remain shallow and fuzzy while you focus on the first character you introduce. Choose a POV to start out with and stick to it like glue - this is really important in the opening scene, to keep the reader tightly focused. Any changes in POV that you use as you get deeper into the story should be well-managed and crystal clear. And begin with activity, not description, and especially not background. I don't mean guns blazing and blood splattering, but with some event taking place in the story's realtime.

    These are far more important than which scene you decide to begin with. Who knows? As you get deeper into the story, you can always change your mind and use a different scene of your story to lead with.
     
  4. Kylie
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    Kylie Contributing Member

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    Like Cogito said, there is no 'best' answer. It really depends on how much of his bio is necessary to your story. How much of the bio you want to include. To show all the "love and care" you don't necessarily have to start from the very beginning. Stick to what you think would be the best one for your story. Remember, just because you choose a beginning, doesn't mean you can't change ot up in the future. It's your story. And it's your choice. :)
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    In fact, in the novel I'm working on, I started with one beginning at the chronological beginning of the story, then completely changed my mind and began a few thousand years later instead.
     
  6. Ommonite
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    Ommonite Senior Member

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    Don't watch ghost rider. It has no information on the story of ghost rider. That wasn't the devil and he wasn't the devil's bounty hunter. He did think that at first but he has learned much more. That movie was a ghost rider movie was much as The Da Vinci Code was a Spaceballs sequel.

    anyway...

    I like the idea, but some of your choices for when to start are possible writing suicide. It would be to dangerous to start a story about a birth all the way back to the time the parents met.

    Again, as the others have said, this is all up to you. But let me just give some ideas;

    The very first scene could be the man talking with the devil, or even after his wife has survived the birth. Flashbacks, daydreams, fantasies. In a modern fantasy like this, you can do anything you want to tell the story.

    Television shows such as Reaper(FOX) ans Supernatural(CW) have had all sorts of concepts similar to this.

    My other advice would be to divert away from the age old idea of being the grim reaper after making a the deal. Yes the deal is alright, and having him cross paths with his wife or son is sweet.

    Maybe he's a demon hunter, or maybe (and I personally like this idea) he is out searching for people for the devil to make deals with. You could do all sorts of these things if (ooh, i love this idea too) he is just a "servent" of the devil, which most people would associate with grim reaper, but will be blown away when they see him doing all sorts of things for him.

    Also Reaper(FOX) shows a great character in the devil. some of your hero's tasks could be to round up some of his other servents that have gone AWOL, but the devil wants him alive, or things like picking up his favorite kind of cheesecake at three in the morning.

    Also the film Bedazzled might have some other ideas.
     

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