Friday, May 3, 2013

Survey Says...?

I know we've talked about beginning before. Erynn wrote an awesome post on them a while back. And even if you missed that, you've heard beginnings talked about before. One of the big things that comes to mind when you're thinking of beginnings is Where should I start?

Ah, the eternal question.

I know it's best to start in the action. If you're going to write a book about a missionary who's on her way to Africa when she witnesses a murder in the airport parking garage and then has to run for her life (oooooh, I like that!!!), you don't need to give us eight chapters at the beginning about your heroine and how she feels called to be a missionary, and maybe go to Africa, and blah, blah, blah. We'd probably start with her witnessing the murder.

And hey, no stealing that plot line. I'm kind of liking it as a possibility for when I'm done with the next however many books I have in my head. ;)

Learning where to start has been something I've felt like I was getting better at. But for some reason with the manuscript I started a couple of weeks ago, I'm stumped.

So here's my question for you, if you'd like to weigh in. How much background do you like? Say a character is moving because of a job assignment she gets (in my case, she's a journalist). Do you like having her living her happy life in Place A for a chapter before she moves to Place B where the rest of the story would take place? Or would you rather she just be living her new life and allude to the fact that she's just moved, etc.? This isn't a hard-and-fast "rule" in writing. You're supposed to start in the middle of the action somewhere, but how much set up do you like before you're right smack-dab in the conflict? Or do you like any at all?

It varies for everyone, so I'm looking forward to hearing what y'all think!

All opinions are appreciated. =)


  1. I'm not sure if this is good or not, but I like to start off just before the action. I'll put my main character in an unclear situation (and make it seem like the reader is about to get some backstory) and then just pop them with the situation in one crystal clear moment.