1. Bowler
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    Bowler New Member

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    Situations of Solitude

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Bowler, Jul 30, 2010.

    I'm having a real problem beginning my novel because when it starts, my main character is all by themselves in a strange place and have no orientation. I'm trying to write them walking around trying to recall what happened but it just sounds boring. Does anybody have any advice for writing opening novels with situations where the character is in shock and isolated and so can't narrate to establish the story right off the bat?

    Also, should I name my main character right off the bat? Will readers generally find it annoying if the author witholds the character's identity and refers to them as "the man" or something like that?
     
  2. OvershadowedGuy
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    OvershadowedGuy Member

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    you should identify your main character asap, find a catchy hook for the first line and if you can't make it interesting enough perhaps consider a different approach.

    It's important that the beginning of your story catches the reader.
     
  3. Langadune
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    Langadune Member

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    "Joe's head hurt and he couldn't remember why." If you lead in with something like that (I don't know anything about your story, this is just a suggestion) you've identified your character and introduced a conflict. You can build from there.

    That's just a suggestion of a way to go. You have to decide what tone you want to set and where you're going.
     
  4. Gaunt
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    Gaunt New Member

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    I'm brainstorming at the same time here, and I'm new! Beware my advice.

    Is that beginning a must? If not much happens to a character we just met, it may offput a reader. It would then depend on your writing skill for that reader, whether they continue. Not sure if i have any actual experience beginning like this, sorry 'bout that.

    Since the character is shocked and confused, he might want to control his heart rate by doing something unique, like rubbing his ears or embracing something that was left for him. Was this object his? Why was a note in his pocket? Was that his handwriting? Let symptoms and other things the character can't control guide you.

    Not naming a character so soon can be a good way to go. It can impress your readers in the way it's executed, or allow them to form a person in the mind without letting a name alter that process. I enjoy both ways.

    What will turn me away from a story(sometimes) is when a world begins like:

    Joe Schmoe, The second sifux of x, landed in the planet y within the z galaxy. Within minutes blah blah blah . . .

    Too straightforward for me, like a textbook. Storytelling isn't info-dumping. But anyways, hope I helped.
     
  5. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe your character can find an object right away that piques interest. Like a cryptic clue to why he is there. Or a murder weapon.
     
  6. Bowler
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    Bowler New Member

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    Thanks, guys. I think I'm on the right track now. The problem is getting stuck in your first idea and forgetting it doesn't absolutely have to be that way.
     

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