1. carsun1000
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    carsun1000 Active Member

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    The Big Bang Theory

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by carsun1000, Jun 9, 2015.

    It's often said that you must start your work with a big bang, especially in crime and mystery novels. I must however say that of late, I've come across a lot of work that didn't start "hot". They started "cold" then built up gradually. My guess is, established writers don't have to go through this as much as starters who want to reel in new readers. The reason I brought this up is because I am thinking about making my chapter 58, my chapter 1 (with a rewrite) and then unfold the story. That chapter (58) is not the only action in the book, but it's where the MC takes out his antagonist. any thoughts on this? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
  2. Reilley Turner
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    Reilley Turner Active Member

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    Goofy Part
    *cues The Big Bang Theory theme song*


    Serious Part
    But my biggest question would be (as a action/fantasy/adventure reader) why is there no action? I mean, I'm fine with starting with the ending, then unfolding the story but, again, why is the ending the only action scene?
     
  3. carsun1000
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    carsun1000 Active Member

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    Every story told unfolds differently. Just because the first lines or chapter does not have action does not mean it couldn't or wouldn't be a good read. I guess it just depends on how everything comes to you as you write.
     
  4. Reilley Turner
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    Reilley Turner Active Member

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    And it also depends on your genre of interest. For me, if a book isn't "action packed", it holds little to no interest to me.

    Sorry if I offended you, I was just speaking my mind, and didn't consider your perspective. :/ Again, sorry.
     
  5. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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    I've looked at at lot of the winning and short-listed entries to the Crime Writers Awards Debut Dagger and as I recall they normally have action, or at least a dead body in the 1st chapter. (The comp is judged on 3,000 words and a synopsis). I have seen writers who have very little other action do well but something in the 1st 3,000 seems essential for that comp. Louise Penny's short-listed entry had a body but the two books of hers that I have read have had little or no further violence, so i suspect action early on to hook the reader/agent gives you more chance.
     
  6. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    My (unfair?) criteria for starting a book is to imagine someone pulling it from the bookstore shelf and reading the first few paragraphs to see what it is about. If I can 'hook' them with something intriguing (action, dead body, a MC who is immediately interesting somehow) then it works. My current book does not start out this way even though the 'hook' is there just pages away. Inexplicably, I was hung up on the idea of painting a time/place/weather report scene than being a good storyteller. I plan on re-writing the opening scene to better intrigue the reader.
     
  7. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    What's the main conflict in your book? Are readers supposed to wonder whether the protagonist will ever catch up to the antagonist, or will they still enjoy the book even if they know what happens near the end?

    To me, it sounds like maybe you'd be giving away some significant drama from your story, but I don't know it well enough to say for sure.
     

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