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Shanoncia
August 2nd, 2002, 12:27 AM
Hey everybody. This is one of those nice little threads where i ask for advice and everybody writes back with great reative generosity! ;) Okay.. here's the scoop. I'm thinking of rewriting the begining of my sotry because I'm worried that I lunge into the action to quickly. I myself cannot stand those first few chapters of seemingly unnessessary drag so at my sotry starts just outside the castle my heroine escaped from... and her adventure is an instanious developement and really, no drag... it just starts nicely into the plot. Do you think that is a no-no when writing? THanks for any advice.

Erebus
August 2nd, 2002, 01:32 AM
Personally, love plot-driven tales, and write this way myself, mostly. I received some advice once that said if the reader has to read more than 3 pages with nothing really happening they are likely to give it away. I think it's all a matter of balance really. You can tease the reader with more of the plot whilst still pacing the story sufficiently. However, boring a reader with pages of background or info dumps at the start will probably turn them off from the rest of the novel.

I say get your tale going with a bang, and then introduce the necessary background as the plot unfolds!

Radthorne
August 2nd, 2002, 01:39 AM
There are no no-no's, Shanoncia! ;) Especially if you feel strongly about a particular style, as you do with how a story starts. If that's an approach you like and have read before, be assured that there are going to be readers out there who like it too.

You probably don't want your readers to get lost, though, remembering that they won't have any idea of what's in your mind's eye about the world that you've built, how it looks or what makes it tick. As long as you can weave some of that into your action along the way, particularly in those first few chapters, that should allow you to keep your readers "grounded" without having to bury them with background detail. So, feel free to start off with a bang!

kegasaurus
August 2nd, 2002, 06:39 AM
Worked for Ian Fleming.

juzzza
August 2nd, 2002, 06:45 AM
David Gemmell uses a great formula that works for me as a reader.

The Prologue slaps you bang in the middle of some action, giving a glimpse of the plot and often providing a teaser.

Then the characters, plots and sub-plots build in the chapters.

I know there is some criticism for Gemmell's work in these forums but this thread is about the formula not the author.

:)

Holbrook
August 2nd, 2002, 07:56 AM
Another thing, don't try to explain everything about your character's world to the reader. The character lives in his world and knows it, exlain though speech if he needs to know something, show the detail slowly, just trickle it in.

Some folks think that you have to have tonnes of info dumps to "explain". That peeves the hell out of me. I want to imagine the world myself from the words there not have it picked out like a photograph!!

Plunge your reader into the action, catch his/her attention then they might stick with you. Blind them with facts and figures and they will put the book down....

This is of course my personal opinion *g*

milamber_reborn
August 3rd, 2002, 01:20 AM
My novel gets straight into the action, but that's cause it's based on a dream I had which became the first scene.

Whatever you feel goes best with the story. If you start writing it slowly, or with action, go with the flow of your writing. You can always modify it later.

Shanoncia
August 3rd, 2002, 01:10 PM
Great advice guys, thanks a lot. Really.


Personally, love plot-driven tales, and write this way myself, mostly.

So where could I get some of your books? They sound great!


There are no no-no's, Shanoncia! Especially if you feel strongly about a particular style, as you do with how a story starts.

I think you're right, and from now on I'll try to remember that before I get paranoid about possible reception to my writing style.


The Prologue slaps you bang in the middle of some action, giving a glimpse of the plot and often providing a teaser.

Yes I do have a prologue like that... you certainly need it with my story because thigs can get a little complicated otherwise. Thanks.


Another thing, don't try to explain everything about your character's world to the reader. The character lives in his world and knows it, exlain though speech if he needs to know something, show the detail slowly, just trickle it in.

Thanks I understand that keeping the fatastical element is the story involves allowing the reading to include some of there own imaginings. So some things I purposely leave to the reader. BUt maybe not as much as I should...


My novel gets straight into the action, but that's cause it's based on a dream I had which became the first scene.

Sounds interesting, and funny you should say so, because I've worked some of my dreams into the story as well. Would you mind telling a bit about your own?

milamber_reborn
August 4th, 2002, 02:45 AM
All of my planned novels are based on dreams and / or random thoughts.

Early last year, I had a dream about a teenage kid in a courthouse with a bad-ass judge, with a authoritarian Government. So, I jotted it down the next morning and starting writing it as the first scene of a novel. I added an idea for a separate novel to it and a year later it was a lengthy novel, The Uprising. www.stories.com/authors/milamber/ (though it's targeted towards young adults)

The funny thing is that I rarely ever have dreams.