Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Writing ABC - Opening Scenes #MFRWauthor #writing

As I said last week, Plots are divided into segments. Each one is important. Let's look at the Opening Scene. What's the purpose?

Each scene must have a purpose and the opening one has a few essentials to throw into the mix. One purpose is to introduce one or more characters. The writer must hint to the characters problem that will drive the book. What is their goal? Why are they doing this? What can they lose of gain? Few stories have just one character. Even those told in first person have other people in the mix. So this is one purpose of writing that first scene.

Another purpose is to interest the reader. I've read a lot of books and I've written a few. Most of the time I write that opening scene many times to get the real flow. Have I interested the reader? I always hope so. I've read some stories that have a great opening line or a great opening paragraph and then the story begins to bore me. Why?

Boring things. A great paragraph or situation followed by an enormous dump of back story or of setting or of other things that drag on and on. The backstory dump always makes the reader yawn. Why couldn't the story have started sooner? Does the reader really want to know all this material or can the facts come in later.

When I began writing, this was one of my problems. A lot of back story. These stories came back to me until one editor remarked that she didn't need to know thee heroine's entire life in the first scene. "Just put enough in there to intrigue the reader."

The book I'm about to begin starts with the heroine settling into her new house. Then she hears a motorcycle and this upsets her. Hints as to why are there but not much more until the scene ends.

So the opening has to show a character and give a hint about what the story will be about. The opening has to avoid boring things.

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