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  1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Open on a dream!?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by GuardianWynn, Aug 28, 2015.

    Okay so a friend just gave me an idea. Because a piece I submitted work on here, got a lot of feedback about not opening on action.

    So the thing is. My MC has an unknown power(to herself and much of the world) and she fears it. The part that makes this tricky is that I thought if I open on this power I might give the reader a bad first impression. Also the point of her character is that she is a girl struggling to be normal. I figured if I open with her not normal, than it might not put the struggle in the right light.

    A friend suggested that I open on a dream. I can show her being embracing her darkness only to wake up and realize it sending her into a spiral of upset feelings. Than I can have her live a normal day(Actually this might help with a problem @Jack Asher said in detail on that post. As I can show her in more of an emotional extreme as she struggles to hold a normal persona.) at which the end of it she gets attacked. Almost dying forces her powers out. This way the dream is relevant it isn't just a tease because her powers are real and her fears are too.

    Any thoughts?

    Tagging people I think will have a nice opinion.
    @Jack Asher (I hope I didn't miss understand or misquote the original opinion you gave. If I did please correct me. :) )

    @Tenderiser

    @dreamersky1212
     
  2. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    If I may...

    This could be a good approach as long as you identify it as a dream right away so the reader isn't mislead about what's real and what isn't.
     
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  3. dreamersky1212
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    dreamersky1212 Active Member

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    It's all in how you do it. Because I am so determined to get my WIP published, I have been doing a lot of research on writing. I found this video:


    In it she says that dreams are too cliched, but I really think it depends on how it is done. If it is done poorly, then it can seem a bit to melodramatic and trite. For my piece, I needed to open with a dream as the entire novel is about dreams. But in this video, she goes on to describe what we really need in a first chapter.




    Personally I think that it can be done but that there may be a better way to go about it. What if you open with part of her powers slipping? Not fully exploding out of her, but just a tiny bit escaping and then describe the repercussions of it. Her reaction to it and how it affects her life, since she is attempting to be normal. She can show the reader her fears because they can see how even that small part has consequences. What would it be like if, god forbid, she did give in and all her powers manifested....:supershock:
     
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  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    LOL Now I feel like my old version is good.

    I mean chapter one has the catysis.

    To sum it briefly my chapter 01 does this;

    Opens as class is ending. An assigmnent is given that requires MC to find a partner. Someone reaches out to her but it is established they did so thinking they will get a better grade by working with the MC.
    So she doesn't have any friends in class. Gets good grades and keeps to herself. She then goes home and falls asleep due to over working at studies.
    When she wakes up she goes to the store to get milk for breakfeast at which point she witnesses a murder and is attacked.
    Se defends herself decently(pointing out she has some magical awareness) but then loses. As she is about to die her power and innerself emerge to save her. Yet she almost kills a man in the process. As she runs away she seems quite well not surprised by this. Because she is aware it is there. Yet doesn't know what it is. Some times she feels it would be better to die and have to worry about it hurting people anymore.

    The complaint was how I have her doing boring stuff before the action but it is all chapter one.
     
  5. dreamersky1212
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    dreamersky1212 Active Member

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    why does she have to go home and go to sleep? Why can't she witness this murder on her way home from class?

    or

    Move the first part (the whole class scene) into chapter two when you can better describe her life and attempted normality. Then, for example, start with her frustrated because her day started off bad (she woke up late, her homework wasn't done and now she was out of freakin milk). Grumbling the whole way, she walks to the store when....dum dum dum....she sees a murder.
     
  6. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I added the nap part to make it really late when she witnessed the murder.

    I was nervous that if I open too close to the action it would give a false impression. The "it taking over" aspect doesn't pop back up for a bit. Most of the time it is just scratching at the walls of her mind. Only in times where she agrees with it(such as a desire to live) can it break out more. I wouldn't want someone to be like "Wow this was interesting. What the hell happened to her. *turns page* and now it is completely different she is in school."
     
  7. dreamersky1212
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    dreamersky1212 Active Member

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    There's nothing wrong with giving a taste of action to get the reader hooked. The key is playing the tension just right throughout the rest of the story. You gave them a glimpse of the monster, now make them doubt that it was real. Keep them wondering if maybe in the next page she is going to flip out again and start killing people. You can't ignore what happened entirely, but you can give subtle hints in future scenes about the drama that will unfold....eventually.

    As for it being completely different once the danger is over, why wait until school? Have her drag herself back home, change her clothes (burn them, dump them..whatever) and intentionally get back to her normal life, watch tv or read a book. This shows the reader instead of telling them that she is determined to be normal, and it creates intrigue for the reader. She just nearly killed a man and now she is watching the Bachelor? What the hell? I must read more....
     
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  8. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    You make a point. I suppose regardless of the order. Nearly killing a man would be hard to play as not normal in the first instance. It is going to take a moment, a moment for it to settle in that this isn't her normal desire.
     
  9. dreamersky1212
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    dreamersky1212 Active Member

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    I know that your novel isn't a crime thriller (at least I don't think it is) but your description made me think of this movie:




    I think it's because she tried so hard to be normal, then it became impossible to pretend. After that she went the other way (turned back into a crazy heartless assassin) but then in the end she found a balance.
     
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  10. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol.

    Not sure if this will sound rude. Sorry if it will but I suddenly have the desire to tell you some of the context. Because I am curious what your opinion would be. But to avoid putting the thread off topic. Would you mind if I sent you a private message? Sorry if I am being too forward.
     
  11. dreamersky1212
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    dreamersky1212 Active Member

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    that's fine
     
  12. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This synopsis makes me feel a lot more sympathy and intrigue for your character than introducing her in a dream, where I don't know what's real and what isn't. It sounds like a great first chapter to me. I would keep the sleeping in, since you start off showing a normal day for a teenage girl, lulling me into a false sense of security, then BAM - murder!

    I know there is SO much out there about jam-packing your first chapter (or three) to keep publishers interested but, in reality, readers give you space to introduce your characters. I'm sure publishers do too, since most of the books I can think of right now don't have anything sensational happen in the first three chapters.
     
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  13. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    LOL that moment when you think you got the chapter 1 wrong and think about a fix and then everyone likes the old chapter more. lol.

    Granted this aspect wasn't the only advice given in that workshop entry. I suppose I should look at the other suggested fixes more closely. lol.

    Thanks for the feedback.
     
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  14. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    Both were great advice...

    GuardianWynn did you post a piece here? I couldn't find it.
     
  15. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    What are you referring too exactly?
     
  16. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    I was referring to the two videos dreamersky posted. But, also, I wanted to see the piece on this forum that stated you shouldn't open with action.

    Opening with action is perfectly fine if it's done well...
     
  17. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ahh. Yeah I did post this story first chapter here. Cant link it because on phone but if you look at my profile it is titled The Order: main story chapter 01 or something close to that. If you were curious. :)
     
  18. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    My search didn't find anything. I'd like to read your piece. If you find the link, send it my way.
     
  19. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    Yes, I see it. I'll do a read and post back on the original thread.
     
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  21. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    A friend of mine has a book out which starts with a dream. It's been picked up by a studio.

    Know the rules and then break them - every damn one of them!
     
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  22. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    False sense of security and them BAM! I love it when that happens!
     
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  23. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I've just read the workshop entry. I like the way you open the story. The initial scene with Valorie in class tells me a lot about her and it isn't boring, then you get some very exciting action really soon after. Readers would know from the blurb on the back of your book that there is going to be a fantasy/magical focus to the book so they won't feel cheated that you introduce her as a normal student and then have her reveal a power. That's good writing, in my opinion.

    I really don't think a dream opening would improve your story at all and I think I would say that even I didn't have a thing about dreams in books. :D
     
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  24. Sack-a-Doo!
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    I guess the big question here is: How did this sale take place? For instance, through an agent, because your friend knew someone at the studio, because your friend's novel sold well, through a blog, etc.
     
  25. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for the feedback. :D

    That moment when your older idea is the better idea. lol
     

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