1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  1. Alesia

    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    252
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN

    Quick question

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Alesia, Aug 10, 2013.

    MC (first person present tense, no debates about tense please) wakes up in the hospital. At first it seems like a she's trapped underwater, but the confusion wears off and things are figured out after about the 1st paragraph.

    Anyway, which is better to start:

    "When I wake, I'm underwater."
    "When I wake, I THINK I'm underwater."
    'I wake up underwater."
     
  2. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,701
    Likes Received:
    5,977
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    :D


    "I wake up underwater. [rest of paragraph] Wait, it's not water..."

    I think that shows better than tells.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,494
    Likes Received:
    5,666
    Location:
    California, US
    The third one.
     
  4. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,953
    Likes Received:
    2,072
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I wouldn't even mention waking until the next paragraph.

    Disorientation is key to the scene. As the character is not sure how how she got there, leave the reader similarly off balance.
     
  5. Terok

    Terok Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Australia
    You probably don’t want to say that you THINK you are under water, because that gives it away immediately. At the same time if you say that you ARE under water you are lying to the reader because you are not, you only think that you are.

    I would go with something like what Cogito said, or something like this.

     
  6. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    hewing to the 'K.I.S.S.!' principle, less is more... so the third is still the best choice, when including other posters' alternative suggestions...
     
  7. heal41hp

    heal41hp Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Oklahoma, USA
    I am all for the third one or alternatives. :) The third one is quick, sudden, to the point, and thus shocking.
     
  8. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,753
    Likes Received:
    2,618
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I'm with [MENTION=1349]Cogito[/MENTION]. Start with an "Omigod!" moment. Make the reader feel the character's panic. How or why doesn't matter. Just be in the moment. Explanation can come after.
     

Share This Page