Saturday, November 27, 2010

Two things not to do at the Start of your Book.

Okay, another lesson from the big book of Shannon's blunders. When writing your masterpiece that will become the next Twilight or Harry Potter (depending on your romance level) there are two things to consider in your opening chapters.

1. Keep your character numbers low. The lower the better. And this doesn't just mean the characters that are physically in the scenes, but also the ones they, your characters, talk or think about. I would say five or so is your max. I find this difficult as I always want to fill the reader in on EVERYTHING right off the bat, but its better to hold off. This will also save your editor some grief. Why is this important? Too many character gets confusing for the reader to track and they could quickly lose interest.

2. This could apply to any section of your book but I tend to use it at the beginning with my council of Archangels having a discussion about the problems they must attend to. Using a group, or meeting in your book is a common trick for writers to get across a lot of information to the reader quickly. This also can be very confusing as again you are probably dealing with multiple characters talking about multiple characters. And because its a commoon device it doesn't exactly make you stand out of the crowd. Not good for the readers, agents or editors.

That's it, I've got to get back to my Nanowrimo project now. I'm way behind and only have 4 full days left. Hope these tips help and please add to them in the comments section!


Jan Morrill said...

Good information, Shannon - especially your first point. Good luck with your Nanowrimo project!

JEFritz said...

Thanks for sharing the advice. I'll be sure to keep it in mind. Good luck with NaNo!

Shannon said...

Always glad to share my blunders with others :) And thanks for the luck, going to need it!