1. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,205
    Likes Received:
    4,217
    Location:
    Alabama, USA

    Where do I go from here?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Link the Writer, Nov 30, 2010.

    I just started a story today, my first mystery story from of a POV of the detective, Miguel Sanchez. I wanted to try out a style that looked 1800-ish where we start off with an unknown speaker in an unknown place, except now I don't know where to go from here.

    This is what I have. Just a few paragraphs, though.


    Quote:
    Before I begin this narrative, let me spend three pages discussing my birth in the slums of a large city hundreds of miles south of here. No, scratch that, it’ll take too long. That’s the type of book that puts me to sleep whenever anyone reads it to me. It’s pointless to begin a narrative where you start by telling the readers everything there was to know about your hero. Therefore, I’ll only tell you one thing about myself before we begin: I was indeed born in the slums of a large city hundreds of miles south of here. Here being Birmingham, Alabama.
    So, where to begin this exciting adventure?

    I didn't want to reveal everything about Miguel, as we learn about him as the book trucks along. We would learn who this speaker was about a paragraph or two later (that and if the speaker were a boy/girl).

    So, where do I go from here? Do I have the speaker instantly jump into the mystery as he/she appears interested in not sharing anything else about him/herself?
     
  2. cjs0216
    Offline

    cjs0216 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Portsmouth, VA
    Start from the moment the mystery is introduced to the character. Most of Sue Grafton's books start out that way. The MC, Kinsey Millhone, usually starts things off by describing the world around her in a theme reminiscent of the rest of the story and then takes a paragraph or two to describe herself and maybe what she had been doing the moments before the mystery gets to her.

    Check out SG's Alphabet books on amazon, and use the feature to look inside the book. It'll show you what I mean in the pages amazon actually lets you see.
     
  3. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Go with your gut - my experience is listening to the story will tell you which direction to take it. Jump straight into the action you can always change it later.
     
  4. jwatson
    Offline

    jwatson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    canada
    I'm not too certain how you should continue. I haven't read anything by Doyle in a while, but this instantly reminded me of Holmes, so why not take a glance there to point yourself in the right direction? Or even something with Dupin in it by Poe? These two writers wrote in similar setting/style.

    On another note, I really like this paragraph. I think it's funny in a way. A classic example of a smart person taking a while to explain something. My favorite part is how you worded the phrase "That’s the type of book that puts me to sleep whenever anyone reads it to me." The part where someone else is reading to him...made me wonder why can't he read himself? Of course, this probably isn't important, but that is me hyper analyzing everything...I can't help myself. I thought maybe he was blind or something. One more thing: maybe you should not use contractions? For some reason I think not using them may add to the 1800's setting. I can't remember if Watson uses contractions in his narration... Again, me hyper analyzing everything. Good luck, it looks nice so far!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Tessie
    Offline

    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,103
    Likes Received:
    62
    Location:
    Mass
    That sounded good. You know your question is simply a wish to feel validated. If that is what you think you want to do, then go with it. I like the idea of jumping straight into the mystery, if you ask me. Beginnings like that always keep me reading.
     
  6. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    I agree with what everyone else says about jumping straight into action. I also am impressed by the way you can write 1800s-first-person without sounding archaic or purple prosey.

    Jwatson, nice catch about the being read to stuff!
     
  7. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,205
    Likes Received:
    4,217
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    I was hoping it didn't sound too archaic and purple-prosey. :D

    I wonder how I'll fit his name in without revealing too much? Miguel Sanchez sounds very much Mexican and it might sound alarm bells to the readers and completely give away where he was born.
     
  8. Tessie
    Offline

    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,103
    Likes Received:
    62
    Location:
    Mass
    Hmm, I understand what you're saying. I read a historical novel once where the author wrote like six or eight pages, and I didn't know who the POV's name was. It was very catchy. The way the author finally named that guy was straightforward. He said something along the lines of "Hugh White had been there six months, having arrived from England on one of the few troop ships despatched to Boston. He wondered if blah, blah, blah."

    I think that when you are finally prepared to give the name it should slip into the writing incognito or very easily. Don't sweat it too much, though.
     

Share This Page