I love Bernita’s reminder today, to:
"make sure each and every page contains
something special for the reader: an insight,
a line of exquisite description, witty or illuminating
dialogue, a bit of shock ’n awe, whatever --
to carry them forward, to sustain their
interest in the unfolding tale."
Lainey, yesterday, was searching to find her beginning. I struggle with that, too, except I tend to have no backstory, no set up. I take the in medias res way too literally, and I need to fill in more, LOL.
But, in the end, I strive to have my characters make intriguing and good first impressions. Rather than tell or even show through backstory, I put them out their doing something relative to the story arc, in a way that the reader can make their own judgments. (And hopefully I’ve slanted things in my characters’ favor.)
It’s like when you meet someone in real life. You see hundreds of people a day in the store and around town, but do you talk to them all? Of course not. They have to do something that makes you notice them. And then once you notice them enough to slow your errands down and actually talk to them, then you have to find something you can relate to.
"They" say that closer relationships are made when you go through a stressful event together. I suppose that’s one more reason to start in the action. If your reader relates to your character, and they go through a stressful event together, then you’ve got a relationship.
But you know, every time you draw a generalization in an attempt to make sense of the craft, you lose all the other stuff that works, too, all the exceptions and all the outside-of-the-box thinking. And I had a friend who opened with backstory every single time. A whole chapter of it. Somehow, it was interesting and perfect.
Anyway, have you been to In For Questioning? It has awesome audio interviews with authors.
How do you like to start your beginnings?