Writing Excuses 10.17: Q&A on Beginnings
We’ve talked about beginnings this month. Now we’ll answer some of your questions on the matter. Here are the questions:
- What are there differences between the beginnings in different forms?
- How do you begin in media res when you’re not writing action?
- What’s the biggest mistake that can be made when plotting the beginning?
- I see a lot of big-name author beginnings that aren’t all that strong. Why should I spend time making my beginning awesome?
- How do you balance the need to have something happening right away against the need to have the reader know something about the characters?
- In creating a character, where do you start in the development process, and what do you begin revealing first?
Homework: Take the world-building you’ve done, write your beginning, and then secretly write down your “gee-whiz.” Now run that beginning past some alpha readers, and have them attempt to identify the “gee-whiz.” Compare their answers with your own.
Thing of the week: The Shepherdess of Sienna: A Novel of Renaissance Tuscany, by Linda Lafferty, narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal.
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