1. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    Lets start at the very beginning

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by BFGuru, Jan 7, 2012.

    I scrapped my entire first chapter, it being too choppy and changed scenes too quickly. I will still use the aspects but will give more time and fluidity to them later.

    This leaves me back at the beginning, not sure where to start. I think I don't want to introduce the main characters right away. Maybe a few pages in perhaps. But if I change my mind, I can at least work with the character I do know what to do with. He's young. Age 5. An imp and constantly into some mischief, though not a bad boy. Simply accident prone. Father is a mason who works at the palace. Mother is pregnant with twins. I think I'd like to start chapter one at the beginning of the day. He will be going to work with his father to keep him out of overly pregnant mamma's hair, but not sure how to start. I think it will give a great opportunity to introduce a few characters on his big day out, but again...hmmm.

    I'm using third person. Should I start by simply using his name? Can I start with straight dialogue (I was thinking of starting the entire chapter with dad nudging him awake). Straight dialogue seems like an odd way to begin a tale, but that's where I'm leaning if I can't come up with something better.
     
  2. Ziggy Stardust
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    Ziggy Stardust Active Member

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    There are no rules about how to start a novel. Just try a few different things.

    It's very difficult to write from the perspective of such a young child without making him seem much older than he is. Why do you want such a young MC?
     
  3. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    He's not my MC. His interaction with my MC helps develop her though, so instead of starting with the MC I thought I'd start with him. He's actually rather minor. More like the comedic relief. But I'm struggling developing my main. I keep changing how she looks, what drives her. How she goes from protagonist to antagonist. It's just...blargh. I think I'm making it too difficult on myself. And can't figure out where to start.
     
  4. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can start however you like. Starting with dialogue isn't strange.

    You have to start the right way, though, since the first line is going to set a tone for the entire story. If you start with description, you're going to need a novel with strong descriptions. If you start with dialogue, strong dialogue. If you start with exposition, a strong, complex plot, usually. If you start with the character and an action, strong character-driven action will be expected.

    Really, you want all of that to be good, but the first thing people will notice when they read it is the first line.
     
  5. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    I think this is why I have such writers block. I'm scaring myself that my first line won't be "right".
     
  6. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, that's a very legitimate concern... if they're reading the first draft. But they won't be. So just write. Then again, maybe your struggle to write this story is a sign to you that it's not the right time for you to write it, or maybe you just don't actually like the idea enough. Write something else, maybe.
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just write that first line anyway. Even if it isn't perfect. You can always go back and change it later. (and you will) The important thing is getting started at this point. If it's easier for you, start in the middle of things, when stuff are beginning to happen, like when your mc meets the minor character, and write the first chapter later. Any way is good as long as you write it. You don't HAVE to write it cronologically.
     

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