Starting Your Novel In the Right Place

24 thoughts on “Starting Your Novel In the Right Place

  1. I don’t really don’t want to have a prologue but it’s a scene from the past and is very essential to the story.

  2. You say you love party scenes, and I really struggle with describing party scenes – which so happens to be a starting scene for this particular book! Do you have any tips for a new writer on how to tackle those overstimulating, sometimes chaotic settings and scenes?

  3. Chapter 1 in my fantasy novel sees the first time the MC uses his powers in front of people that aren't immediate family. This is the first event in a long series magical mishaps and uncovered secrets that result in him leaving home in search of the origin of his powers. The first chapter does a LOT. It introduces the MC and his imediate circle, the magic system and how it works (although more details come into play later), and the basic society structure of the region the story starts in. idk now if this is too much? I'll let my cabin mates weigh in at camp nano and see what they think.

  4. I started off my book with a day in my main character's life. It does, however, introduce us to most of the characters and describes the location. It does end with the characters meeting the person that changes their life. It's a long chapter but I think it gets the point though. Saying that, I do think that since the first 6 to 7 pages are just the character doing normal daily activities it might be a bit boring. There is banter and interactions between characters. I just want to know if this is all right, or maybe I should just cut some of it down?

  5. Funny enough the start of my book Parallel Nightmare starts in a club where Maia is celebrating her 25th birthday. She is dancing with a guy and when she kisses him she get's this sickening feeling before going to the bathroom. That's when readers get the twist that she goes into the fact she woke up in a hospital and lost all of her memories.

  6. I'm fricking thirteen. Your advice is the most effective I've ever used ^_^ you help a lot of people, and I'm glad to say that I'm included xD I wanna be successful in writing one day, and I think I might be going the right track here.

  7. I'm a first time writer I wanted to start my novel with a chasing scene .. will that be nice .. please give me your feedback ..

  8. Here's a technique that she kind of hinted at in doing without knowing the why of the technique and that's:
    When figuring out how to start, and conversely end your story, you must first know what your story is at its core. Is it a character story or a plot-driven story? Or both (which is possible, but even then it still is more one or the other). Understanding what your story is will inform you how to start it. For example, Imagine a story about a detective that's on the hunt for the killer of his girlfriend. If the story is plot driven then you want to start at the plot. So maybe you'd start with a flashback to her murder, or in medias res with the MC busting down a door to his first lead, or any number of things. But, what you wouldn't do is start your story from the perspective of the MC's regular life before the incident. Why? Because for the reader's sake, your story must flow from beginning to end as one cohesive story. A reader expects the story to be exactly what it's trying to be. If your story is a character-driven story, but you start it right at the plot without giving us the setup of what's kicking off the character journey (not the plot journey) then the reader is going to feel cheated.
    This technique applies to how to end your story as well.

  9. Love your videos! I just recently subscribed. I'm not a pro writer yet but I've decided to start writing some fan fiction. I'm really into Star Wars lately and came up with a good story idea. So far, I have a fairly good idea of what I want to happen but haven't plotted out anything definitive yet. My problem seems to be the beginning and how to get past it. Basically, I want my OC to meet someone important in the SW universe but I can't decide exactly how to introduce her. So far I've done like a flashback/dream sequence to give an idea of how my character came to be in the situation she's in. I want to start with the important meeting as soon as I can but still give my character a brief introduction. I guess the main question is: how much should I reveal about my character and when?

  10. I have a question if I write a paragraph about a character should I go into chapter 2 with the same people or can I change the people in chapter 2

  11. This is old aha but I’ve been binging your videos since I subbed (about 2 days ago) and you’ve already gone up from about 18k to 20k that’s so cool

  12. can two characters that start seperate but end up in the same location have different inciting incidents if they do not effect each other?

  13. Alexa, I am really enjoying your videos. It's very helpful to get a glimpse into the process of a published, working author. Thank you for sharing your tips, insights, and reflections on writing (and Sims Yay!)

    If you ever feel inclined, I'd love to hear you talk about how you get to know your characters. Coming from writing Battlestar Galactica fanfic for many years, one of the biggest challenges I find when working on my original works is that the characters feel so much more at arm's length rather than up close and personal. I'm so used to spending a great deal of time (years!) with the characters I am writing about. Is that something that happens for you as you work on your draft? During revisions? Is there an aha moment when it clicks or is it an organic process that happens naturally as you continue refining your novel?

  14. I love your videos. I only stumbled across them a few days ago.

    With my first book, I was adamant I wanted to begin it at a specific spot, and I dug my heels in, and eventually changed it. Where I had wanted to begin my book is now the beginning of chapter three. If I had left it as I had wanted it, I would have either had a long prologue or almost twenty pages of flashbacks. I still wish I could have started it there, but ultimately, the story is better for the change.

    My current WIP, I've rewritten the first three chapters almost a dozen times changing where and how it begins. It's a book where beginning in the wrong place was leading to chapters of stuff that could have been summed up in a few lines here and there. Now, I can move on with the story and know it's on the right track.

  15. Super relevant. In my first draft, I had the m/c awaken to find himself tied to a chair, awaiting interrogation, with his female companion missing.

    I think I was just really pumped to throw characters and plot garbage at the reader?

    Rewrote the first 4 chapters. Now, hopefully readers will actually CARE whether or not the characters are in danger? ^^;

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