1. Dek

    Dek New Member

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    I need help with writing x♡

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Dek, Nov 21, 2020.

    So I'm writing this story and I'm stuck on the first chapter's opening line.
    The main character is running away from her enemy and I wanted it to be something like "my skin chilled as the rain's cold drops touched my body, I was running swiftly away through the forest's uneven ground in a desperate attempt of escaping my enemy's grasp"
    How do I make it sound better and how can I keep the line going??
     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

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    (Mod Note: This thread has been moved from Publishing)

    Hi, Dek, and welcome to the forum!


    For this passage, I would suggest maybe introducing the characters a bit before you jump into a chase scene. We don't know who the "enemy" or the MC is yet, so there isn't much of a reason for us to be concerned by the ensuing danger.
     
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  3. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum

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    Don't worry about getting things perfect right from the beginning. You don't want to get stuck on your first line, or any line, instead the idea is to get your ideas down and lay out the entire story in rough form. Then you can begin to go through and work out details, find and develop the structure, and find just the right wording.
     
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  4. DriedPen

    DriedPen Member

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    It almost sounds like you have First Line Writer's Block which most of us get. We want the opening line right, and nothing seems good enough.

    I try something a bit different. I start writing my story at an interesting part in the story. As an example, I started in the middle of the second chapter on a new novel I started on Sunday. Throughout the week I infilled some of that on both sides of that start, and I am now up to the first three chapters completed, with another chapter done in the middle of the book.

    Why mention the last part?

    Because you can avoid writers block if you start writing the parts of the novel you have already thought out. Then as you wrte the parts you know, the rest of the book emerges better.
     
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  5. Dek

    Dek New Member

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    So how would you suggest I start? That's what I'm confused about, like how do you start introducing a character??
     
  6. Dek

    Dek New Member

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    Thank you, I will definitely try this!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2020
  7. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

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    Do you read much? Check out books you like and see what works. And check out books you don't like to see what doesn't work. There are no simple answers.
     
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  8. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 12/210 MP: 0/130 Supporter Contributor

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    I have to say I partially disagree with Homer.

    Although one of the over-quoted "rules" of writing is to start in the middle of action, there's nothing wrong with doing this if you use it correctly.

    Having said that, I'm not a fan of it for novels. How to introduce your character? Go back. What has led to what you're depicting above?

    You have some grammatical issues with your sentence. It should be split after "body" to inject more urgency, and it's "attempt at" not "attempt of".

    If I were writing this, I might put:
    The raindrops felt like ice-cold needle pricks as they hit me. My breath came in short, ragged gasps and my legs screamed as I tried to will them to run faster. I wanted to collapse, but I couldn't. They weren't far behind.

    Show, don't tell. Don't tell us it's a desperate attempt, show us how desperate he/she is.
     
  9. Dek

    Dek New Member

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    Ok, wow this is actually so helpful I don't know how to thank you enough.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2020
  10. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 12/210 MP: 0/130 Supporter Contributor

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    Cookies work.
     
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  11. montecarlo

    montecarlo Member

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    You have a world of possibilities literally at your fingertips.

    Who is the main character? How do they feel right now? What is the setting? Who is chasing them? Why?

    Any if those could be how you build from where you are. Some are better than others. But I think the best in your situation is “what happens next?”
     
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  12. Fervidor

    Fervidor Senior Member

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    Could be a lot snappier, rougher, scarier. The sentence you wrote has the tone of a poet describing a beautiful sunset. This character is alarmed, desperate, maybe even panicking. She's in danger and running on uneven ground while dodging trees and branches, pursued by a relentless villain, and on top of it all it's raining. She's cold and scared and generally having a very bad day. Try to make that come across in your delivery, because you're trying to set the tone for the whole scene, maybe even the whole chapter.
     
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  13. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Contributor Contributor

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    I never tend to like those kinds of opening sentences as they just feel a bit like your trying to hard and it comes off as two dramatic for me and it is removed from the character and is just telling us. Is the rain really important right now? Not really. You sentences need to do more heavy lifting for you.

    "my skin chilled as the rain's cold drops touched my body, I was running swiftly away through the forest's uneven ground in a desperate attempt of escaping my enemy's grasp"

    I wont re-write it or tell you a starting line because that's just not right - it would be rude of me to tell you how to do it. But if I was to say to you:
    "A boy walked down the street." what does that tell you about my MC? What about the plot? what about a hook? What about the setting? Not much does it. Now what if I said: "A boy in armour limped down the street." Gives you plot (a war s happening) it gives you a hook (why is a child dressed in armour. Are children fighting this war? why? Is it for protection? the limp would suggest he's fighting). It gives setting and character, especially if my character is a back smith and would notice something like that.

    Maybe the place you've chosen to start isn't the best place. Maybe you need to back track and not stress about getting that first line perfect. It's hard to get the ball rolling and it's the same problem I face. If I start with a rubbish, weak first line I find the rest of that scene just seems to follow suit. I find it hard to move on if I'm not happy with what I have. So, in the goal of just getting started I will "steal" a first line from another novel. I find one that matches the tone and action level of my own novel, steal the first line, highlight it in red so I know it's a borrowed line and continue from that line. I find that very easy to go and it gets me out of the starting gate. When the story is complete, I go back, remove the borrowed line that set the tone, setting and ball rolling and write my own. I also try to find novels that start in a similar way to read them and see how they wrote an action scene in the first chapter.

    best of luck
     
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  14. Dek

    Dek New Member

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  15. Vanna Heller

    Vanna Heller Member

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    Yeah, as others had already said, give more details, and maybe don't start off the way you did. My advice is to not start off like the way you did because right away I was thinking... Who is running? Why are they running from an enemy? Who is the enemy? Why are they in a forset?
     
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  16. Vanna Heller

    Vanna Heller Member

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    It's a good sentence, just maybe don't make that the opening of your story.
     
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  17. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    why would your skin chill from the rain if you were running desperately... surely your skin would be hot from the exercise ?... and how is enough rain hitting you to chill you if you're in a forest

    Its also rammed with adverbs ... i don't subscribe to the adverbs are evil kill them with fire school of thought, but in a first line may be tone it down a bit, most are redundant anyway

    my skin chilled as the rain's cold drops touched my body, I was running swiftly away through the forest's uneven ground in a desperate attempt of escaping my enemy's grasp"

    Rain splattered on my skin as I ran through the forest. Behind me I could hear the baying of hounds as the hunt closed in
     
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