Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! Hopefully the stories we write will appeal to both of them so they will want to share the book together more than once. Better yet, the children will love the book so much that when they reach adulthood they will want to read it to their children.
Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! Jeff Gerke November 25, How, strategically speaking, should you begin your novel? When a reader reads your first chapter, what should she find?
There are four primary approaches for beginning a successful novel. Probably more, including some highly experimental ones, but these are the classic main four. Run your story idea through the filter of each of these and see if one of them feels right for your book.
This post is by Jeff Gerke, an award-winning editor of fiction and non-fiction and the author of six novels, five non-fiction books and the co-author or ghostwriter of numerous other books. Visit him at jeffgerke. For example, the film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl I often use film and television examples when I teach because they illustrate so perfectly the concepts of storytelling and are so universal begins with a prologue in which two of our main heroes first meet each other as children.
Mulan begins with a prologue that establishes the villain, the stakes and the ticking time bomb. The action is contemporaneous with the scene that introduces our heroine, but she is not onstage, and she does not become aware of the danger until deeper into the story.
Ghostbusters begins with a prologue showing a nonprimary character who sees a ghost, which provides the need for the Ghostbusters to form. In these cases, we see some of the ways a prologue-style opening can help your story. A prologue can establish why things are as they are in the world of your story, and why the character is the way he is when the main action begins.
Here are 4 things to consider when researching literary agents. Many fiction experts tell writers never to write a prologue, while others like me say prologues are great. The Anti-Prologuers argue that: Can beginning with a prologue engage your reader?
Can it be done so poorly that it disengages the reader? The Hero Action Beginning In a hero action beginning, the hero is onstage, doing something active and interesting related to the launching of the core story it need not involve explosions and car chases, but it certainly can.
Groundhog Day begins with Phil Connors onstage giving a sarcastic weather report. Juno begins with Juno walking through the neighborhood, drinking SunnyD, on her way to the corner store to buy a pregnancy test.
Nearly every James Bond story begins with performing some amazing derring-do. The hero action beginning is the other most common way to begin a story. Read about them here.
And would a prologue or some other approach help you more than a hero action beginning? Some books lend themselves naturally to a hero action beginning. If the protagonist is a superhero when the story begins, you can start the novel by having her save the earth.
Mulan is feeding chickens on the family farm—not necessarily an interesting introduction. We all could make up something for our heroes to do as the book begins.
With in medias res, you start at a point deep in the story, show a bit of activity to intrigue the reader, and then jump back to an earlier, quieter part in the story. In this case, you show a later episode, and then you hit the rewind button and spend some or all of the rest of the book catching up to that moment.
Los Angeles begins with U. Then we jump back about 20 years. Part of the reason is because it can be perceived as a gimmick. Sometimes it gives readers that same ripped-off feeling they get when they read a novel that begins with a dream.
It can also sacrifice suspense for that whole portion of the story until you catch up with the first moment. If you see the main character alive and well in what you now realize is a future moment, how nervous are you going to be when she gets into danger?In this, your story is bookended on the front and back (and usually a few instances in the middle) by a story that is outside the main story.
The primary tale is framed by this other story. The Princess Bride (the novel and the film, both of which were written by William Goldman) is a frame-device story. The style of The Canterbury Tales is characterized by rhyming couplets.
That means that every two lines rhyme with each other. That means that every two lines rhyme with each other. Frame story, also called frame tale, overall unifying story within which one or more tales are related..
In the single story, the opening and closing constitutes a frame. In the cyclical frame story—that is, a story in which several tales are related—some frames are externally imposed and only loosely bind the diversified stories.
A frame story (also known as a frame tale or frame narrative) is a literary technique that sometimes serves as a companion piece to a story within a story, whereby an introductory or main narrative is presented, at least in part, for the purpose of setting the stage either for a more emphasized second narrative or for a set of shorter stories.
The frame story leads readers from a first story into another, . Learn how to create solid foundation for your story in this excerpt from Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul.. We’ve just finished talking about the unusual quality of picture books having two audiences: adults (parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians, who pay the money for the book) and the children who listen to the adult reader.
Tips for Crafting a Frame Story. In my case I’ve decided to tell it a frame story. This is a literary device using a narrative structure to tell a story within another story. It’s also sometimes called a frame narrative, a frame tale or a nested narrative. Categories *Writing Craft, Plot & Story Elements Tags Frame Stories.