Always say start where action is. Start where change happens. We’ve heard that advice time and time again and it’s entirely surprising. Have you ever read a manuscript where the writers starts way too early, poking and plodding through paragraph after paragraph of yawn inducing back story? Heck, we’ve all written a few manuscripts like that when we’re being honest with ourselves.
Unfortunately, I tend to err in the other direction. You want action? I’ll give you action. Me? I tend to plunk the reader down in the middle of something BIG.
That’s what I tried to do with Rat Race and my critique group just shook their heads. “Too confusing. We need to know this, but we need to know X first.”
So I’d write a new first chapter, squeezing it in before the original.
Nope. Still starting too late in the story.
Fortunately, I was able to diagnose by problem when I sat down with Martha Alderson’s Plot Whisperer Workbook and the original Plot Whisper book. Check out Saturday’s post at the Muffin to find out how using these two books got the ball rolling.