Tuesday, July 21, 2015

3T Writing Tidbit

Do you want readers to throw your book after only one page? No? Then listen up!

Starting the story. As authors, we used to have a chapter or so before the reader decided whether or not to come along with us on our journey.

Not today.

Chuck Wendig wrote an amazing column that talks about pacing your beginning. Here's one nugget I've gleaned from several columns and conferences over the years that he also makes.

Have things happen!

Aka put your character in an intriguing situation aka have your character doing something interesting aka start off with action.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" doesn't cut it anymore. "To be or not to be" would--since the words are our POV character contemplating suicide.

***BUT*** you must also be sure your reader cares what's happening by caring about the character.

This doesn't work as a beginning either: George slammed his fist into the concrete block, breaking fingers.

Action yes. But why is George doing this? If he's got anger management issues we won't care. If he's an abusive spouse we won't like him. But since we all insta-care about puppies and kids and moms, if he's a dad trying to break through to his toddler who's accidentally locked herself in the public restrooms, well, we not only care but we're rooting for him.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

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