30 Days of NaNoWriMo 2 – Day 3: A Good Intro

So, as I’ve continued growing as a writer, one of the things I realize I’m not perfect at is writing intros. Often, I get excited to start a story in one way, and then, no matter how little sense that one intro makes, I stick with it, trying to make elements of the story work with it. This actually turned out to be the major problem with my second novel, Memory; editing it boiled down to reworking the intro into something entertaining that also made sense.

So, this year, sitting down with H&T, already aware of how the plot would shake out and already knowing my tendency to write my intros with blinders, I was able to find a first few pages that . . . I at least hope work. They’re entertaining and they hit major emotional beats that I think the story needs to start with, so I’m satisfied. I know I’ll need to round out the first few pages–make sure the dialogue flows well and the world feels unique–but I’m glad to have found an intro that is engaging, casual, and natural. Instead of going for one that’s action-packed and super confusing.

That’s the thing with my style though; I always want to create interesting, unique worlds, but I also always want to jump right into the action. In my earlier days, that meant starting stories out of sequence–some grandiose moment first, then going into the past to talk about how a character got to that moment. And that’s a nightmare; that just never ended well.

It was also bad when I used to invent confrontations to start stories with–throwaway confrontations that, at best, introduced an aspect of a protagonists’ life . . . but still went on for twenty or thirty pages because, “Whoa, this monster he’s fighting is wicked sick.”

So, today, I wrote an intro that didn’t do that. And it feels like a victory, which is awesome. Especially because I still don’t dive into heavy worldbuilding immediately, which is something that I’ll still always be against (not worldbuilding itself, but the fantasy tendency to flood an intro with worldbuilding exposition first thing).

Now, with a few actual pages under my belt, I just have to keep it rolling. Today’s part of the intro was all about Modis. Tomorrow, it’ll be all about my second protagonist, Sydney Tempest. Hopefully, my ol’ NaNo tradition of spending-the-day-imagining-a-scene-until-it-basically-forces-itself-out-of-my-head-and-onto-paper holds up. Cause, at the moment, I have absolutely no idea how I’m actually going to introduce her. I love her–possibly more than Modis–but her actual first scene somehow escaped me (I was probably too busy fawning over her big emotional moments).

Whatever. My point is, wish me luck, and thanks for reading!

Words for the Day: 769

NaNoWriMo Total: 769

Published by

Louis Santiago

I'm a fantasy writer based in New York. One of my short stories, "Aixa the Hexcaster," was published at Mirror Dance Fantasy. You can read it here: http://www.mirrordancefantasy.com/2016/09/aixa-hexcaster.html.

2 thoughts on “30 Days of NaNoWriMo 2 – Day 3: A Good Intro”

  1. I have the opposite problem to you, at least when I’m writing shorter works. I can do the starts but it’s all the rest of it that is a challenge – still, that’s what makes it interesting. It’s fascinating to hear how your thought processes work.

    1. Oh man, I struggled with finishing short stories for a long time.

      I wish I could tell you something that would help you get them rolling, but all I can really do is tell you what kept me from finishing my early short stories; it was a mental block–I always thought that shorts were somehow less important than novels. And, to a degree that’s true, but a good short story is still awesome, and to write a good short story, I had to respect that form. And I didn’t. I just wouldn’t bring a strong idea to a short story because I always wanted to use those for my novels. So, I’d try and make an interesting, flashy short story out of my C and D material, which resulted in bad concepts I didn’t want to work on.

      The first time I did finish a short, I think it’s because I finally had a cool idea that I was okay using for one, instead of saving it for a novel. So, no idea if that helps at all–even if it’s just to commiserate–but regardless, good luck with them, man!

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