Beginning of a Novel: would you keep reading? Why/Why not?

Discussion in 'Writing' started by rtwngAvngr, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    My life has basically been a series of failures.I have great analytical skills and can be quite charming, to the extent that it often brings out the wrath of jealous supervisors and coworkers, fearful of being outshone. A manager told that he resented how much the CEO liked me, and that it was his personal goal to “make my life miserable”. He did. I quit. I have many stories, some similar to this, some a little different, but all with the common theme: Me against the World, persecuted for no good reason. But, of course, when you tell people “your side” they still just think that it was some problem of yours, and maybe it was. Whatever. Maybe I AM weak for not being willing or able to take abuse. Maybe what I could have learned is how to shut up and disengage.


    If you read this dark little paragraph, would you want to know more? Or is it just too dark to be compelling. If you wanted to keep reading, what would want to know more about?

    Please consider this an exercise in story development for us all to learn through (through which we all may learn:rolleyes: ) .
     
  2. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    Should a book start with a negative rant indicating borderline paranoic narcissism?
     
  3. winston churchi
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    winston churchi Member

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    The first sentence would grab me but then you followed it with something positive....It would grab me if it started out something like - My life has basically been a series of failures, its me against the world...
     
  4. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    Yes. I see what you're saying. .
     
  5. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    Yes. I see what you're saying. It too quick of a mood change.
     
  6. winston churchi
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    winston churchi Member

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    I think its called first person that you are writing in...you should read a couple of first person stories that would help your mind organize your thoughts...yes you can write a totally negative store. I am thinking of Catcher in the Rye...to me..that story is about a lost teenaged boy....or there is The Body by Stephen King in a book called Different Season..the Body is the short story of the movie Stand by me....
    There is also, now dont laugh, Twin Peaks which is a first person diary type story...

    I like to read these stories because they are told by the reader...but I think they are very hard to write...so perhaps reading or re reading a few of these will help.
     
  7. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    Catcher in the rye is one of my all time favorites. Probably not suprising eh?

    I can see the dilemma of first person. You can only talk about what the characters sees, thinks feels, etc. It is engaging though.

    Do you write, winston?
     
  8. nycflasher
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    nycflasher Active Member

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    Agreed. Writing is all about bearing your soul, as hard as it can be.

    I think an opening like this would definitely interst people: "My life has basically been a series of failures, its me against the world... "

    Because, 1)Who likes to admit to failure? and 2) Who hasn't at some point felt like it's them against the world?

    I think people would I either be curious because they relate to that or curious because they don't...

    IMO

    Here's a nice inspiriational quote, though I forget who said it. It goes something like, "Writing is sitting at the [keyboard] until little beads of blood form on your forehead."
     
  9. NewGuy
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    To me, the whole thing gives too much away in the beginning and overwhelms the reader.

    I would be inclined to not include the idea so great as "me against the world" just yet or extrapolate on many failures all at once either.

    I would go into a story illustrating these things first, even a small one and let the conclusion reveal these details.

    That way the reader slides into the mood progressively and gets hooked on the train of thought.
     
  10. nycflasher
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    nycflasher Active Member

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    Agreed, a more subtle approach may be your best tool. Maybe a nice build-up and then WAMMO-me against the world!

    Something like that...
     

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