Home Forums Fiction Writing General Writing Discussions In the beginning….

This topic contains 11 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Amy L. Klob 1 week, 1 day ago.

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  • #55541

    Amy L. Klob
    @amy-l-klob
    • Rank: Bumbling Henchman
    • Total Posts: 17

    @aratrea, @ anybody – I am not sure how to begin my novel. Should I start it off in adventure and/or intrigue or build up to it? I have been thinking of starting it off with intrigue and then take the reader to the past by “melting into” my protagonist’s memories when she tells a friend how she got to be where she is. The story would then continue on from there as the present. Is that a bad idea?

    Let me know if I caused confusion. ๐Ÿ™‚

    #55553

    Dekreel
    @dekreel
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 570

    Greetings, @amy-l-klob!!

    How to begin a novel. *scratches chin* Hmmmmmm…

    It makes sense why you want to do that! The reader does need to know the background of the protagonist.

    I think you should kick off the first chapter like right before the action happens, around the time when the conflict comes in. Like, the protagonist is coming home from a regular day at school, and she finds a letter in her pocket, and that leads to an adventure. That way, it intrigues the reader while also showing what everyday life is like for the protagonist (she goes to school, she lives in this house and this city, etc.), and the reader can connect with her and “root her in his brain,” so to speak, more easily.

    You might even add a prologue that explains where exactly the conflict originates. It could be about the person who sent the letter to the protagonist, having noticed the danger. If it’s necessary, you don’t have to reveal his identity. In fact, if you hide his identity, it makes the story all the more mysterious, and therefore, more interesting. It leaves the reader as well as the protagonist, to be surprised by who wrote it, when they happen upon each other.

    Now, I’m not saying there needs to be a letter involved. And it doesn’t have to be a mystery. You can do whatever you want — this is just an example ๐Ÿ™‚

    So there you go, a bit of mumbo-jumbo for you. Good luck sorting it out! XD I hope that helps ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Oh, and nice to meet you! Haven’t met you before ๐Ÿ™‚

    Pronounced DEE-kreel. Daydreamer, Expert Whovian, ENFP-T.
    Writing a KeePer Adventure!

    #55562

    Amy L. Klob
    @amy-l-klob
    • Rank: Bumbling Henchman
    • Total Posts: 17

    Hello, @dekreel !

    Thanks for your input. I like your thoughts/idea. I too have thought of the need to show what my protagonist’s normal life is like. It gives more of a base, if you will, to work off of – including emotional. The protagonist’s normal life and what she holds dear is threatened/separated from her. The reader isn’t going to be as connected with the emotions that go with that if they haven’t visited her normal life and gotten to know her there. Even if it’s a peek at it.

    #55564

    Dekreel
    @dekreel
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 570

    @amy-l-klobย  You’re very welcome! Yes, exactly! I love how deep it sounds, her normal life being “separated” from her. I have to agree that a good background is essential for that!

    Anyway, I’m glad I could help! What is your novel about, if I may ask? (If not, that’s okay ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    Pronounced DEE-kreel. Daydreamer, Expert Whovian, ENFP-T.
    Writing a KeePer Adventure!

    #55566

    Josiah DeGraaf
    @aratrea
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 641

    @amy-l-klob I’d recommend starting by introducing your protagonist, but I would be careful about having a slow lead-in to the actual story. You want to grab the audience’s attention in the first page. That doesn’t mean you need to immediately leap into the main plot of your novel, but you should be including some conflict and/or intrigue that interests the reader. Plus, conflict reveals the interesting sides of people most of the time, so if you’re going to show us who your character is, you should show us what your character is like under pressure.

    @sierra-r has a good checklist here on what to include in the first page (and by extension the first chapter) of your novel:ย http://kingdompen.org/how-to-write-the-first-page-of-your-novel/

    Writing fantasy stories w/superheroes. ยท josiahdegraaf.com


    Amy L. Klob
    @amy-l-klob
    • Rank: Bumbling Henchman
    • Total Posts: 17

    @dekreel My novel is a historical fiction of a young woman during the American Revolution. Her brother along with their good friend leave to join the fight for freedom. She struggles with fear and change, yet believes in the cause as well. She is faced with an opportunity to help a neighbor in need, though getting involved could land her in some serious trouble with the enemy. Without giving whole plot away, one thing leads to another until she finds herself as a camp follower of her brother’s regiment (or whatever the proper military term is…more research needed). Some of the plot is still sketchy, but I know it involves spying, intrigue, adventure, and conflict. (Of course there’s conflict; they’re at war. ๐Ÿ™‚ Wouldn’t be a good story without conflict anyway.)

    So that’s a sum-up of my novel. Thanks for asking!

    #55619

    Amy L. Klob
    @amy-l-klob
    • Rank: Bumbling Henchman
    • Total Posts: 17

    @aratrea Thanks! Yeah, I don’t like those books where it takes you 20-50 pages to get to the truly interesting stuff.

    Hmmm, I shall ponder how to craft my tale in new epic ways, knowing how to wield my sword (er, pen and keyboard) a bit better now.

    Thanks again! Oh, and thanks @sierra-r for writing the article.

    #55620

    Sierra
    @sierra-r
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 42

    @amy-l-klob *sweeps hat off and bows with a flourish* Always an honor to be of service to writers of the Kingdom ๐Ÿ˜‰

    #55621

    Sierra
    @sierra-r
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 42

    @aratreaย Clearlyย I need to get on the forum more, but putting someone’s username underneath their actual name to save all that extra clicking was a stroke of genius.

    #55625

    Sam Kowal
    @sam-kowal
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 189

    @amy-l-klob

    I wouldn’t start off with the action right away, although you do need to start off with something interesting, and that’s because of two things. Firstly) The hardship of the protagonist being separated from her normal life and what’s dear to her (which is great, by the way) isn’t, as you said, going to be as impactful unless the reader actually sees her in her peaceful life. And secondly) In my opinion, it’s hard to immediately open a story with action and adventure and have readers really connect to it. When a book opens, unless its part of a series, the reader hasn’t gotten to know the characters yet. So having epic scenes is great, but you need to make your readers care about your characters first, I think.

     

    #55626

    Xonos Darkgrate
    @xonos-darkgrate
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 135

    Whenever I begin my stories, I like to build a sense of intrigue. Ending the first part in a mystery or subtle cliffhanger that’ll make the reader want to read/find out more.

    INTJ- โ€œThe world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel.โ€
    โ€“H. Walpole

    #55746

    Amy L. Klob
    @amy-l-klob
    • Rank: Bumbling Henchman
    • Total Posts: 17

    @sam-kowal @xonos-darkgrate Thanks for your input! I am re-thinking my beginning, grafting in the tips I received here on the forum. Exciting! I love figuring out how to make my story more enticing and my plot ideas flow smoothly.

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