Act One, Part One: Parallel Scenes for the Beginning

The opening scene of any story should be (if I’m writing it, your mileage may differ) the transition from the stable world into the unstable. That doesn’t mean that everything is hunky dory at the beginning of the scene, there can be a lot of trouble, but it’s the usual trouble, nothing new, the protagonist’s world is still working the way he or she expects it to. And then Something Happens that turns the stable world into an unstable one. Continue reading

Questionable: Starting A Story

Jinx asked:

“Recently I read a description of how one of my favorite writers began a book, and she described it as getting a scene in your head very strongly — any scene, from any point in an overall story, and then just sinking into that scene and imagining each character in it, what they were like, what they wanted, what had led them there to the scene, what had made them the way they were, and so on, until the rest of the story just sort of unfolded.”

“In a way it sounds like just letting your subconscious write your books, which sounded quite scary, and maybe wouldn’t get you to a thing in the end that was a book. Does that make any sense to you as a method of starting/first drafting?”

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RANT: Set-Ups

You know, I try to be open-minded about writing, I really do. I do believe that each story is different, that no rule always applies, that rules should be tools not strait jackets, that . . . The hell with that. SET-UP IS NOT STORY.
I swear to god the next film/TV show I see or book I read where there’s a ton of lifeless crap at the beginning because the writer needs to set stuff up will be the last show or book by that writer I will invest my time and money in. Continue reading