Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Begin at the Beginning

Editors always say, start your story where it matters - don't include a lot of extranious information (lovingly called backstory in the biz) in the beginning. Let the reader figure it out as you go along. So my new novel starts where the action begins, the moment where my main character's life changes forever. Except the editors I'm working with all say that they want to see more "normal" life before this life-changing event so...I'm writing a new first chapter. Shouldn't be hard, right? Just ten pages or so to set up life-as-we-know-it for the reader. Right. Trouble is, nothing is happening.

I sent my character and her friend to the movies to open the book, thinking that they would run into enough people (and one person in particular) to set things up nicely. They're in line for popcorn, they're chatting, but not much is going on and it's driving me crazy. I keep tossing things at her, grabbing different scenarios and waggling them in front of her, hoping it would spark some action but so far she's just "eh". Just this morning however, she did spot a girl across the lobby who may indeed give her trouble, so I'm hopeful that we'll see some action tonight. If not, I might just have to make something up.

On this date: In 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge opened.


Linda D. (sbk) said...

Ack! Not easy to add on to the beginning. But it can be done. One of the members of our crit group had to add a few chapters to the beginning of her ms. After much hair pulling and nail ripping, she finally got it.

Good luck! :D

Big Momma Pimpalishisness said...

It's tough when your characters don't do what you want them to, isn't it?