cedunkley (cedunkley) wrote,

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The dreaded opening chapter

So I like the opening chapter of my WIP. It accomplished just about everything I would want out of an opening chapter. Just about. This opening chapter would fit nicely if it was the opening chapter of a second or third book in a series. Yet it fails on a critical level:

It fails to show the uniqueness of my story and characters and second-world.

So I've been thinking about how to fix my opening. There are a couple of options.

1. I can weave in a little more world building to make sure the reader sees how this story or second-world is unique.

Problem: I don't want to bog down the opening with too much information.

2. Or I can scrap the opening scene and replace it with something different.

Problem: Chapter 2 flows directly from the existing Chapter 1, simply switching viewpoints.

I think my biggest problem is who I have as the viewpoint character. I think the book may work better if I open it up with one of the other two characters.

Or I could do a short prelude scene that will tie into the story much later in the book.

I'm not sure yet. I've been reading the opening chapter of a bunch of fantasy books. And not just any fantasy books, but the first books of a series or a debut book of an author. And looking back at my opening chapter, while it accomplishes what I wanted in terms of necessary introduction, it lacks that something extra that it will need to grab someone, especially an editor or agent.

So, I'm going to keep reading and keep thinking this through. I do have one idea popping into my head slowly but surely. I could take the same event that the opening chapter centers around and keep the same viewpoint character, but instead of him being in the company of many witnessing the tail end of the event, I could have him alone and stumble across this event in full progress.

Yes, that might work...
Tags: first novel, opening chapter, worldbuilding, writing

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