Ch 1 Blunders: Starting Too Soon

The Last Centurion(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

Sometimes you have to wait!

Last month, I received some fantastic feedback on the first quarter of my current MS. For this series of articles, I will draw from the remarks of my wonderful Beta readers and discussions I have had with other writers on these topics.

In some ways, I started my story too soon. Here were three bloopers that I made in the first scene…

  • Character-driven action can be risky. Her actions are, of course, affected by her unique make-up. But opening action should show her “normal” while being interesting. LESSON: Show her normal before her deviation from normal!
  • Backstory-driven action is a no-no when it confuses the reader instead of intriguing. Details of backstory should not be spelled out in an opening scene (or chapter). Engage the reader’s curiosity. LESSON: Delay backstory-driven action until after the frontstory is established!
  • Many characters: Okay, I did not make this mistake this time. But it is a common blooper. Typically, it is easiest on the reader to when the writer introduces characters one at a time in the general order of importance.

DISCLAIMER: This was feedback for one MS by one author and should not be taken as all-or-nothing advice for all stories.

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