1. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    Introducing mysteries and puzzles in a story opening

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Phoenix Hikari, Feb 25, 2013.

    Well, bear with me for this might be long.
    Since I promised myself to write 500 words everyday of my novel, I decided to rewrite the 5000 words I already have written before just so I can have a sense of continuity. Anyway, the issue is the prologue is over but the first chapter is proving to be a challenge. It starts twelve years later from the prologue and now the protagonist is 16 years old, he's planning to punish his abusive uncle by burning the car-yard the later owns as business. Anyway, he's spying on his uncle when a creature shows up which the protagonist can't make out its nature. After the creature vanishes, Kael (the protagonist) finds an envelop which the creature dropped. the envelope contains a rusted key and a note saying something vague. Kael doesn't understand the meaning of either. few seconds later Kael hears his assistance at spying scream and he rushes to see what has happened, Tom tells him that he was attacked by a shadowy creature.

    What I am worried about is that: am I presenting too many mysteries from the beginning? will having a mysterious key and note on top of the creature serve as a confusion to the reader? should I, perhaps, delay one of them for a while until the other is solved. The thing is both the envelope's contents and the creature are key items in the whole plot. The key will serve Kael in executing his revenge on his uncle and the creature will introduce Kael to another dimension/world later in the story.
     
  2. slamdunk
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    slamdunk Member

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    It doesn't look that impossible to grasp when you present it like this but its hard to tell without reading the actual text. Maybe you could should show this start to someone (a friend or a family member) and ask them what they thought. I know they may not be the best to tell but having they look at it is at least something. I'm not saying this is the case but I think if you have a hard time understanding something that is going on in your story then the reader is probably also gonna have a hard time (probably even harder).
     
  3. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    What type of abusive uncle you mean? kind of beat him around often when drunk or sober? sexually? cause i dont see that kind of person doing revenge by burning a car lot, he would be too broken and afraid, so most often he would either go for the kill and end it or snap at him all of a sudden.
    If you meant is just hard on him like shout at him order him around maybe even beat him if he was really annoyed than yeah i see him doing it.

    As for the plot why did Tom get attacked by it if the creature will help later? if you want the reader to focus on the note and key maybe then tune down the attack and say Tom saw a shadow that really scared him? or say never saw anything and doubt Kael that it was probably a man he saw.

    But can also work like you already wrote depending on the details of the plot and how you want to go with things.

    Sounds interested and good luck let us know if you need help
     
  4. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    No, the uncle is just verbally abusive, aggressive sort of person and Kael is a mischievous little rebel who most of time stands up to the uncle. The creature will not help, it's a shadow being which is controlled by another character; it's complicated but I was trying to get Tom to be attacked to show that the creature wasn't friendly, of course Tom won't know what hit him. Getting Tom injured will also serve in showing Kael's cruelty. I'm just not sure.
     
  5. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    I think it sounds about right. You want to tantalize your reader by making them ask questions. I suggest you give hints of this creature, perhaps how it breathes-heavy and shallow or how it smell- of rotten fish (just suggestions)


    The mysterious key and note I would class as one clue. I think the most important thing to remember when telling a story is that you need to give the reader a reason to carry on reading. The carrot that tempts the donkey to move. Do answer some questions (clues) or even hint at the answer but give them another to think about. Story telling is like a rolling ball, sometimes it needs a light push to keep its momentum (rolling).
     
  6. JennyM
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    JennyM Member

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    Your story reminds me of tulpas, Tibetan thought forms created by monks. Magician Tibetan monks can create thought forms that will do their bidding, in folk lore a tulpa can start to act on its own if the monk isn't strong enough - have a Google, you might find a gem that sparks something off.
     
  7. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    When you said it will show him another world thought you meant it be friendlier, but ok i see your point and Tom's injury would help build character.
    Well as far i can tell sounds solid and interesting not many questions but enough to make the reader want more, my guess is we see in the prologue how his uncle is treating him?
     
  8. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    Very interesting indeed, I am looking up information on this. Thanks.

    @Bimber: Actually the prologue was posted here a while ago. It takes place 12 years prior to the current events, when the shadows first invaded the world and Kael still had his father, who died trying to stop the shadows in that period. Kael still has his mother, but no, the reader will discover the Kael-uncle relationship, obviously, before Kael blasts the whole car-yard to ashes.
     

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