And the Winner Is…

Ok guys, I need some help. No, I don’t mean psychiatric help (although I probably need that too…). I need help with the beginning of my story. Imagine! You could be the one to change my mind, change my book, and change the world!

Ok, so that’s a bit overdramatic. Hey, that’s what I do. 🙂 Seriously, though, I need your help. A friend of mine was reviewing my revisions and mentioned that the first few pages were hard for him to get through. So, I thought I’d get your opinions. (Hint: that means I need words. Comments. Suggestions, if you will.)

My current beginning is Main Character (we’ll call her MC, because I’m original like that) recounting all the history up to the present day. Confused? Here’s an example from our collective youth, since we all LOVED high school. “I was the nerd from the first day I walked into that building. Pimple-faced and buck-toothed, I stood out in a crowd more for my awkwardness than my stature. I was known as the Walking, Talking Thesauras. My greatest moments were the few times Mr. Burkenstein used games during English. Then, I was the most popular kid in school. Bet they’re sorry they made fun of me now, with me being the next American Idol.” Yeah…I watched it last night. This is the crap I can come up with on short notice. Laugh at it but don’t bash it. 🙂 It’s harder than it looks to write something on the fly.

Now that you have an example, here’s my question. Do you prefer books that begin with a background or books that jump right in? Alright, fire at will. And I’ll do my best to answer any questions you might have. (Remember, I’m creating a new world, what with Science Fiction and all. Does that have a say in the beginning? You tell me.)


About S. G. Ricketts

I am a dreamer. This page holds all of the dreams and desires and hopes and wishes of the first of my two dreams: to share my imagination with the world. For those of you who have read a book or written a book, these stories are not merely words on a page. They are living, breathing creatures, worlds so compellingly real that you can smell the sweat and feel the rain. This is what I want to share ...with all of you. Yes, becoming rich and famous would be fabulous. I won't deny that. However, it would be so much more satisfying to see my book in the hands of someone on the bus, hear my book talked about at a restaurant, see a cluster of fan-art. I want to inspire the mind to imagine different worlds and different situations. If I can achieve that, I will have achieved my dream.

Posted on March 5, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.


    • So…nigraluva…I am feelin’ mighty dumb at the moment. What’s “HOV?” Her Own View? 😛 I have a feeling this will be one of those, “OMG duh!” moments for me.

  2. find what speaks most loudly about your character. developing MCs character quickly is important. get people hooked on your character, make them fascinated by mc. if part of your characters intrigue is his/her performance in an action scene, then by all means start with your best foot foward. it seems like your developing your character as a word guru, so recollection could be a good way to start. showcase word usage, unusual sentence structures, metaphors that stand out. my favorite line in your excerpt was “stood out in way that was more awkwardness than stature” it was short, it was original, and it painted a wonderdul picture of your character, at once showing mcs power of words, his/her acceptance of geekiness, and showing of yur writing skill.
    as could be guessed, the first line should
    make me wanna read the first paragraph. the first paragraph, the first page. after that i should be hooked. that first line, give me something small to at least push me into that first paragraph. in that first paragraph make me curious. make me ask a question i feel would be answered in the first page. dont ask me to commit to the book with lofty curiuosity. just keep me for that page. in tha first page make me love your writing style, your character, and give me that greater curiousity. so if you decide to do a recollection, give it a reason. let me know this is more than just character development but that what im reading is important to the story. possibly start the book in real time and quickly have something that triggers a recollection.
    just some thoughts for ya stevie. goodluck! im rooting for you.

    forgive my typing suckiness. i did this on my phone.

    • Thanks David! 🙂 This helped a lot. My character is definitely more of a word smith, and I thought to use a background beginning to add to the feeling that she’s a loner. Great advice (and the typing was fine. 🙂 You did better on your phone than I usually do on a keyboard.)

  3. I’m personally voting for jumping straight in. With science fiction, I usually want to be surprised, and just learn about the person’s past as I go along. That’s just me though 🙂

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