Recently, I was thinking a lot about my first chapters in terms of the whole story arc. In two stories, the first chapter starts in the middle of the action (in media res if you want to be all fancy pants about it; I don't though). But this may have the effect of the first plot point coming too soon.
For example, something happens (inciting incident) which causes something major to happen (plot point one). I'm worried that my inciting incident and my plot point one follow one another too fast. In the case of my current story, it happens within the same chapter. My husband, whose feet were held to the fire in order to get him to read my first draft, asked me last night, "Is there a twist to this story?"
That made me really wonder if the first plot point had gotten old by the third chapter! So for this week's Thursday 5, I'm listing a few ways to start a novel. Can you tell me the way you start yours?
- With action. The inciting incident occurs as the story opens.
- With characterization. The characters talk, think, extrapolate, or otherwise consider the world around them.
- With setup. This is a scene that sets up the inciting incident.
- With backstory. We know we're not supposed to use it, but it's appropriate in some cases, I would think.
- Some other way I'm not thinking of.