Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Plot -- After The first Scene

Not sure how many points there will be. But you've written your opening scene. You know what viewpoint you're going to use and you've decided on the amount of exposition. Now you're ready to move on. And do move on. Do not keep going back to the beginning and making changes. You'll never have more than a beginning if you do. So what comes next.

The middle of the book. This is the vast amount of the book and if the reader isn't captured after the beginning the book will never reach the end. How does one proceed. For me, the first say two or three chapters are really part of the beginning. There are things that need to be established here to keep the reader's interest.

1. A second or third viewpoint character may be needed for the scope of the book. This is the time to show the reader who these new speakers are. A second and even a third scene from another character's eyes will establish the pattern of the book. So scene one may be introducing the hero. Scene two the villain. Scene three a character who has an impact on the main character, may be a heroine. These can be done in any order you choose.

2. Background information - this can be filtered in through a scene, in the character's thoughts, through dialogue, or a flashback. Make sure if using a flashback that it's kept short. Doing a long long one can confuse the reader as to the time sequence of the story. One of my favorite authors did this once and that's the only one of her books I don't keep on my shelf. Jumping between two time frames made me dizzy.

Next week we'll be looking at the long distance and how one chooses how to send their characters on a journey no one will forget.

1 comment:

Liz said...

Great post - so says the woman who fiddles with the first chapter until it's perfect - can't seem to move on until it is :))