1. Tesoro

    Tesoro Contributor Contributor

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    How long would you wait?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Tesoro, May 12, 2012.

    One of my stories start off with my mc arriving to a place she's never been to, to find a relative who's supposed to live there.
    Next thing you know, with the chapter break, we're in the head of somebody else that meets her for the first time, someone that will have an important part in the story. and you don't really know yet how that search went, if she found that person or not. I planned on waiting until he gets to know her better (maybe chapter 5 or 6, my chapters aren't very long) for her to tell him all about the reasons for her to be there. And then we will have the explaination and can go ahead from there with the whole matter, but what I would like to know is would you read on for that long with an important question like that unanswered? Would it make you control the number of the pages to see if there is a chapter missing? or does it only add to the suspence in a positive way?
    I don't know how to write about all that (that has happened between chapter 1 and 2) without dragging on for too long about it and besides it would change the whole tone of the story into something a lot more melodramatic and that is not what I want. The search for this person is crucial to the story and it continues after this too, it's not over with yet.
    Is it ok to make such a big jump in time right after the first chapter and catch up on the character in her everyday life a couple of weeks from there and fill in the blanks?
     
  2. Edward M. Grant

    Edward M. Grant Senior Member

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    If I had to do that, I'd wonder whether I need that first chapter at all. If there's such a big jump, is the first chapter really needed for the story, or can you just start with the second and then fill in the gaps when the reader needs to know?
     
  3. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    My thought exactly. Lose Chapter 1 completely. If there are moments or elements in Chapter 1 you will need later, you can allude to them when they are needed.
     
  4. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I agree that the first chapter seems to have little purpose in the story if it takes that long to find out what happened. It's essentially serving as prologue/backstory, and I disapprove of those things.

    Thinking of prologues, I find myself thinking of Agatha Christie's Sleeping Murder, a story where a number of dramatic and traumatic past events figure heavily in the plot. Not a scrap of these events is presented in prologue, narrator backstory, anything. The reader learns about them, along with the protagonists, during the story proper, and the discovery process is very enjoyable.

    ChickenFreak
     
  5. Kay Lesgo

    Kay Lesgo New Member

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    It doesn't matter if she gives away everything to her new beau. However, you have to let the audience in on it or I would chuck the book, unless there is a valid hook. The fact that you didn't mention one makes me think either you haven't thought the essential details through or you are skipping over it for brevity. Tell us more about what the story line is.
     
  6. Tesoro

    Tesoro Contributor Contributor

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    Interesting, guys, that was really a thought. Skipping the first chapter. Hmmm. I guess I could. In fact, the first chapter belongs to the old version of the story, and I guess I liked it too much to take it away entirely, even though the plot has been revised quite a lot. It still has to do with the story, but I guess I could fill in those blanks later. That way you would also get right into the action, so to speak, and the story would open with my fav character. And I think the reader would understand she's the protagonist since the first thing the other character does is mentioning her. So yes, that was definitely worth considering. Thanks! :)
     

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