Thursday, November 6, 2008

A new Poll

Ok, so I am 10,000 words into my story. I know I shouldn't be worrying about details yet, just try to get the story on paper, or screen as it were. However, I do have a question that you can help me with. I'll try and be good and not make major changes or edits until after I finish the whole story line. Anyway, here is the problem, I can organize this book in two different ways and I can't decide. I'll outline each way and the positive aspects for doing it that way and then wait for your comments and answers to my poll ----> over on the right.

Method one--The first three chapters would be devoted to introducing the three main characters. One chapter per person and then I would jump back and forth after that. The biggest plus here is that you get to know everyone in the beginning and hopefully come to like them and gain an interest into what happens to them. My fear is that you might get bored with all the "background" and quit reading before the story even gets started.

Method two--Just start from the very beginning with the plot lines, and introduce the characters as I go. The plus is that I can be more aggressive with the very first chapter to try and grab your interest. My concern? If you don't know any of the characters will you even care?

I hope that makes sense, I started writing this post two hours ago and just came back to finish it. Dinner is on the stove, so I don't want to re-read it. :) Please answer the poll and comment. Thanks!


Ellenamo said...

I've read books with all the scenarios you suggested, and enjoyed each one. However, I usually like to get into the action right away learn about the characters as I go. I think it's possible to give bits of background information, even as the story is already progressing. Hope that's helpful. Can't wait to read it!

AZ Larsens said...

Hmmm... I say you need a "hook" first to get your reader interested. Maybe do the first chapter with a major action scene in the story. Then the next chapter can start introducing the characters. If you don't hook your read in right away, the reader will get bored and won't continue. (except for me, b/c I LOVE LOVE LOVE to read)

Jen said...

I agree with the above comments. I think generally it's more interesting to find out the background, character development, etc. along the way and not necessarily in the beginning.

Jenny said...

I typed my thoughts ealier but it didn't post, I guess. It was too long anyway. Bascially, I agree with above comments. Good Luck! I am so excited for you, you are going to do great!

edith said...

Same here. Start the action (not necessarily DRAMA) and let the characters' personalities unfold through their actions and words.

Lanna said...

I debated the same thing and ultimately ended up with the chronological approach. From a publisher's standpoint, it's better to start with an attention-getter up front. If the first sentence or page doesn't grab you in some way, the manuscript will get dumped. Once you get into the flow of it, the details often write themselves. And, you get excited when you find an interesting way to introduce a character's idiosyncrasies or work in a foreshadowing. That's the spark that keeps me writing.
The other thing I've learned through the NaNo process is to stop writing at a bad stopping point. If you need to stop, stop when the story is getting good, not when you don't know what to write. That way, you can pick up right where you left off without staring at the blinking cursor in frustration. And, you're motivated to get back to it.