1. MustWrite

    MustWrite Member

    Jan 4, 2013
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    Northland, New zealand

    Plot in two parts; how to make the early part work/interesting

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by MustWrite, Dec 13, 2015.

    I have finished the first draft of my fantasy novel and I am not sure how to clean up the first section so it is as interesting as the rest of the book, and basically how to form it into a more cohesive beast. The fantasy is one of those horse and sword era ones, but is more realistic then many I've read, no obvious magic, very logical.

    Basically the first part is where my heroine is introduced, fights to be accepted to be trained [in a very elite section of the army], and goes through her training until she 'graduates' [sorry, tired brain can't think of corect word]. The next section of the book is where she goes out into the big bad world and starts to cause all sorts of trouble :)

    Her training has its book-worthy moments, but I am unsure how much of her early years I should include. Do I paint the early bit with a really broad brush, 'her training continued, brutal, demanding, but forming her into the weapon the Queen wanted; calm, capable and extremely dangerous.' And then just pick out the best, [most full of conflict, etc.] of the scenes I have written to zoom in on? Bin the rest? I am certainly not trying to write a book-per-year blow by blow of her training, but i think i probably have way more info than others would find interesting.
    I would get feed back on the novel except its condition is too ghastly to show undressed to anyone yet. Shameful lol. I want to clean it up a bit, it all just seems too big to get my head round it all.

    Do any of you enjoy reading about warriors being trained, or is it all a bit yawn-worthy?
    jannert likes this.
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    I'd expect it to be pretty yawn-worthy. Unless there are elements of it that are important to the larger story being told, I'd be tempted to bin it.

    If you just have a few bits that are really good/important, you could insert them into the main narrative, either as flashbacks or stories being told by characters?
  3. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

    Mar 7, 2013
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    If the training is only important to get her 'ready' for the main story, then I'd classify what you've written about it thus far as background material. Stuff that you know, and stuff that you can mention as the 'real' story gets underway. Not every novel has to start with the Dickensian "I was born, and then I went to school..." trope.

    A good friend of mine, and a fellow writer, said this the other day, about his own novel which is a WIP. "I decided to read through what I'd written until I came to the first sentence the story couldn't do without. That became my beginning, instead of the one I'd originally written." It turned out the conclusion to his 'beginning' was important, not how his characters got there. You might apply this technique to your own story.

    Don't look upon what you've written thus far as a waste of time. It wasn't. It has grounded you firmly in how your character got to be the way she is. However, your readers don't necessarily need to watch this process unfold through every stage. Start with how she is now, and send her out on her adventures. The background detail can be dropped in, as needed. If, however, there is one particular incident that was extraordinarily important in her early life, you could do a prologue depicting that one incident. This is also a time-honoured way to present a story like this. But it needs to be a pivotal incident to warrant a prologue. Do be careful not to make your prologue into a boring info-dump. Use it as a way to launch your story in a specific direction instead.
    BayView likes this.

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