1. AECalchera
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    AECalchera New Member

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    Science Fiction start?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by AECalchera, Nov 8, 2012.

    I am so stuck on this: I need a good, interesting way to start off my science fiction. Not necessarily have it rich with character background or detailed surroundings, but someway to convey who the main character is, and have the rest of his story and history unroll along with the plot.
    Comments, feedback, and ideas are much appreciated.
    Thank you!
     
  2. Nick Kilcoyne
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    Nick Kilcoyne Member

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    Not sure what you are looking for. Do you want someone to write an opening paragraph for you? A story synopsis? A character bio? What?

    I think you should have an idea for a story before you decide to write a story.
     
  3. AECalchera
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    AECalchera New Member

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    I do have a story, a full one. My biggest obstacle is how to start it off. I'm looking for techniques that people find useful or more attention catching than just a flat out prologue.
     
  4. Nick Kilcoyne
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    Nick Kilcoyne Member

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    You need lay your hook in very soon. You don't want anybody to be bored from the get go. I say ditch the long winded descriptive writing at the start and get to something interesting.
     
  5. AECalchera
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    AECalchera New Member

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    Do you recommend an interesting setting, like at a bar, or at crime scene, or a mid-life crisis?
     
  6. Nick Kilcoyne
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    Nick Kilcoyne Member

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    Yeah totally, beginning the story with am interesting event in progress would be a great start in my opinion.
     
  7. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Just remember, the first 2-3 paragraphs-maybe a fourth if you're lucky-is all you have to catch a agent or author's eye too. That's why openings are so important. Shared some info with you on them. Hope it helps.
     
  8. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Start with a bang! Seriously. A gunfight or battle is a good start. But that's me wearing my screenwriter's hat.
     
  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well people say you shouldn't start with a great big event, because the problem is no one will care about the great big event if they don't know your characters or the significance of the event - therefore you need a milder introduction. Like a small event - still something exciting but leave your really grand event for later, not the opening.

    My advice - just write. Trust me, your opening will change a dozen times before you're ready so there's no point fretting over it now. Stories change once you start writing, no matter how much you have it planned, and only once you have the finished draft will you know for sure how best to start.
     
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  10. Langadune
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    Langadune Member

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    Mckk makes a good point. You're fretting over something that will only hinder you right now. You will rewrite before you turn out the final product... at least you should. Write your story. As you write, it will reveal itself to you and eventual to the right opener will become more obvious. As it stands at this point in the process, creating a strong hook probably isn't your biggest concern.
     
  11. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    I found if i cant think of a beginning I will choose a scene i feel more comfortable with and revisit the beginning with hopefully a bit more inspiration and a little bit of back story which you can then start making references to.
     
  12. Chris H
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    Chris H New Member

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    Start with a mystery, not a setting. Something about the character which raises questions in the reader's mind and prompts them to keep reading for the answer. Where has he/she just come from, why is he/she racing to get to an airport, why is he/she hiding in cupboard... Don't say why, just have them do it and let the reason emerge gradually.
     
  13. Jon Deavers
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    Jon Deavers Member

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    If you have a story in mind, theoretically outlined, you could always start writing other scenes and the opening might naturally reveal itself to you during that process. If you don't have an outline then I would start there as it gives you a framework for the whole piece (and could prevent you from getting stumped by the middle and/or end as well). Good luck!
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you don't want to be writing by committee [which i strongly advise against doing!], just go pick up several of the most successful novels that are in the same genre and have plots similar to yours and see how their authors opened the stories...

    that's the best way to solve your dilemma...
     
  15. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Start as close to the action as possible. Start off with a great hook! The first parts of stories are my favorite!

    If its sci-fi, then imagine these beginnings:


    Good luck!
     
  16. GazingAbyss
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    GazingAbyss Member

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    Chiming in with everyone who said to start with something exciting, but also to add that you could also start with some short scene from the ending (or an exciting part in the middle) and then go back to the beginning. That way you can introduce something confusing/mysterious/intriguing, and people will want to read to find answers.

    That said, it's hard to say what would work best for your story when all you've said is that it's science fiction...
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    However you choose to begin your story, no matter what the genre, you should begin in the story. Don't start with an ordinary day, or with a biography of a major character.

    It never hurts to begin with a character dealing with a crisis. It doesn't have to be major trauma, as long as it shows how the character deals with a stressful situation. That shows the reader more about a character that that he was raised in an Iowa farming community.

    It could be as simple as getting locked out of the house in his underwear (or without!), and:
    -Finding a clever or humorous way to get back in
    -Forcing his way back in, and learning to be more careful, perhaps with a scar
    -Getting totally humiliated and laughing it off
    -Getting totally embarrassed and burying the rage for years

    The main purpose is to acquaint the reader with a major character.
     
  18. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    What Cog's trying to say is that it's best to start with either an active or action opening. There is a difference between the two. Active openings are ideas like Cog posted. There is action happening, but it's more along the veins of "Wow, this character's got a problem, how will he/she solve it." And action opening is what the word means. There's some sort of chase, crash, explosion, fight, etc. It leaves a reading jumping into the middle of a scene, which get's the emotionally involved. The attitude "Whoa, this is some serious stuff here. How are we getting out of this one?"

    Either way, both catch the reader's attention. A google search on action vs active openings will benefit you.
     
  19. WoodenPaw
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    WoodenPaw Member

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    Start with your Main character who loves drinking and as he was drinking in a bar, someone pointed a gun towards him and now you have all the questions in your own mind about who is pointing gun and why?(this will explain little about your character reputation or infamousness). How my main character will react on this or not? (This will describe your character very much). If he has any friends then are they around or what are there reaction on this situation? (good way to introducing other characters with a bang) and after that keep asking different questions to yourself and keep answering them in your story. there is your starting!
     

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