Lately, I’ve been considering how to begin one of my inspiring stories I’ve imagined and continued to work upon in my head. As with many writers out there, the blank page is intimidating and I’ve been avoiding going back to expand on notes and characters. The reason is i’m doubting myself, thinking this story of mine is foolish and I should let it go. But it’s hard to let something go when you had such a rush at the beginning.
“They” always say you need a catch at the beginning of your novel. A powerful chapter one that will pull agents, publishers and readers into your story. Not only do you have to establish your lead character(s), but also the setting, their everyday life and the change that launches the book into something entertaining. It’s a lot to fit in, and hard to accomplish.
In the past, I’ve always tried to open my story with action, of some kind. Or something suspenseful. In this new story idea of mine, it centres on a teenager imprisoned by demons. Maybe a little cliché, but that’s beside the point. The point is, do I actually start my story while she is in-prisoned or before? Either could work, but I fear that starting the story before that point may drag it out. There are always flashbacks, perhaps dreams that could be used throughout the novel – wisely – to touch on those background bits.
But would it confuse the reader to read about this girl, tortured by demons, in darkness fighting with herself on how to survive and escape? To me it sounds risky. I’m afraid I won’t be able to execute it properly. When I come up with new stories, it usually reveals itself to me through anime, or manga playing around in my head. They are a huge influence on my work so I guess I’m not surprised. In my head, I have all these awesome images of the prison cell, and the change on my character’s face from lost, and realizing nobody is going to rescue her to determination to escape and find her own way. The magic inside of her and how she finally learns to wield it during her escape.
Obviously, it’s the rescue the princess trope, with the princess rescuing herself.
So until I figure out how I want to open this book and storyline, I’m afraid it may stay in my head, and unravel on it’s own. But I’ll try to post my first chapter here if it ever happens.