Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Tuesday's Inspiration - Think Two #amwriting #MFRW
While reading an essay be Doris Betts, I came across her ideas for starting a story. Multiply by Two. Had me thinking how this would help set a story up. One can go for setting the scene through a long descriptive passage or with just one character stage center. There are stories that have begun in either or both of these fashions. But there can be problems with these openings. The story can be bogged down with description that goes on for a page or two. The story can be involved with the single character ruminating about the past. "Start with the action" we've been told. But if your story doesn't need that big car chase to happen as the story opens or with a revolution this can make the reader wonder what comes next.
Think about putting two characters on stage and running all the scenery, hints to the goal, reasons for wanting that particular aim, the possible problems the character may want, need or desire. Either of the characters can be one of the main people in the story. The other character doesn't have to be. But you can use their interplay to bring the elements of your story into view and capture the reader's attention.
I've just begun plotting a new story. Not sure of the title but I do know since it's one of a series Dreams has to feature in the story. Also something musical needs to be there. By the time I really start the story I'll find the title. But the opening scene takes place between the hero, a composer of music and his housekeeper who tells him she's found just one applicant for her temporary replacement. She must leave to help her daughter. He's become a semi-recluse since his return to town. The interaction between these two will set up many elements of the story.
So, Think Two. Once you've done that surely the other elements needed for a beginning will fall into place.