I’ve built a world, I have a concept, I have a basic outline of the story arc of the novel. Now, a huge question has arisen: where do I start?
Yesterday, I wrote about creating a world. It’s one I’ve been working on for quite a while, building details, considering values and belief systems; where people live and work… all sorts of fun stuff.
Now that I have the stage set, so to speak, it’s time to decide where to pick up the tale. Many say start in the middle, as it’s more exciting. Some say start at the beginning and none say start at the end (unless we want an entire book of flashback. Uh, NO.)
So, I asked Frank.
“Frank,” I said, staring at my invisible reader who’d parked himself in a different chair this particular morning. He was drinking a new brand of coffee I’d ground. One found in a local bookstore of all places. Sporting a Texas Rangers ballcap, too.
“Where do you want me to start?”
He leaned back in the chair, lifting the front legs off the ground. Just like we were told NOT to do as kids. “Well, ole pal,” he said. “Start where it’s excitin’. I like things to start off with a bang, ya know?”
I nodded, sipping my own coffee. Not bad, I thought. Nice, dark flavor. Bold. “Where it’s exciting, eh?”
“Ayup,” he said. “That’s what I said.”
“Also,” he said, lifting a finger. “Somewhere near that tippin’ point you and your coach talked about.” He nodded. “Yea, somewhere in there there sounds about right.”
“Tipping point,” I said, reaching for my pen. Ideas were filling my mind about where this was. “I see. You don’t want to read any back-story before hand? Might help set the stage for this tipping point you mentioned.”
“Nah, man,” he said, dropping the legs of his chair back to the deck with a metallic thud. “I’ll get bored. You want my attention, don’t ya?”
“Of course,” I replied, opening the black, leather-bond journal where my book was being written. The first of many such books, I hope. “What about right after the scene’s major action but before the ritual?”
Frank scrunched his mouth and cocked his head. “Not sure,” he said. “Why not start writin’ and I’ll tell ya what I think. Fair?”
“Fair,” I said, nodding. The words were there, the scene in place and before I knew it, I was in the room with my characters. Frank had given his approval and that’s all I needed to start.
Thanks, Frank. Enjoy the coffee!