Drawing You in from the Start

I think I have characters on my mind.  Why? Well because I am running into a slump.  I think my current manuscript has some really great points but it is lacking.  What it is lacking I don’t know.  Could it be missing action in the first chapters?  Well, it is a romance.  So action is subjective.  What am I doing while trying to sort out my issues?  Reading one of my favorite romance authors of course.

I am reading an older book of hers and it has had me since hello.  Okay that was cheesy. But it really has had my attention since the first few pages.  Why?  I can’t say.  The first part of chapter 1 is about an ex football player, in his agents office, dreading a choice he made.  It really isn’t action, it’s even told from the agents POV not the hero’s.  How that works I’ll never know since the man is a bit part for what I can see.

The second chapter is about the mousy heroine.  Yes mousy… I am glad we got away from cliques but It is interesting that you actually want to read on about someone that is plain and ordinary.  I think the line about her mother telling her she is plain and homely might just have made you feel for her. But again no action – well until she shows up at a wild party unknowingly.

You know so little about the Hero at this point, or well you would if the agent hadn’t added his two cents.  But I don’t think that is a  customary way of introducing a character.  Normally you are supposed to stick to 2 or 3 main character POV’s.  So as much as I want to learn from some of my favorite authors I think her style is better left for established writers.  For now I guess I will be adding some internal dialogue and just try to make it catchy.

Oh and to reiterate Tuesday’s post about Writing a Memorable Character , this author uses plot sometimes to show a characters traits such as the mousy girl being somewhat sheltered and craving adventure.  It has created some very good laugh out loud moments.

What do you do to draw in someone?  Yes a great opening car chase or shoot out is action but there had to be something more.  Maybe I am over analyzing my own work but in the mean time I might as well learn and decide if it can be applied to my writing style.

What are you prone to doing to start off your book?  How do you get someone on the side of your characters from the start?

7 thoughts on “Drawing You in from the Start

  1. Kelly Hashway says:

    My editor for INTO THE FIRE and I worked really hard to make sure the book really draws the reader in from the first page. I love what we came up with, even though it means reworking 90% of the book. It’s totally worth it because the story has turned into something really amazing.

    • M. Ziegler says:

      Hmmm..should I say you are lucky to have the help or poor you for the rewrite? I am very happy that you have someone who knows what sells, that has for to be a huge benefit. good luck!

  2. strugglingwriter says:

    I like to start with some action right away, because that’s what I like to read. It doesn’t have to be actiony action, just something happening more than description. I do this while I try to introduce the world a bit.

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