How to Open Your Novel
Today I adjusted my opener to Book 2 “Someone Bad & Something Blue",” because it was missing the punch I felt it needed. Although the opener is big, eventful and fun, it was missing my story’s new inner conflict, the thing hiding underneath the superficial opener. The phantom of the story I like to call it.
Instead of giving my story away let me give you an example of a story phantom.
In the opener of Inception Leonardi DiCaprio’s character, ____ is stealing someone’s thoughts, but the heist goes wrong. His dead wife enters the dream sequence and takes him off his game. From here and throughout the rest of the movie the moviegoer will wonder will his wife haunt his dreams forever and thus ruin every caper? As we continue to watch the movie we learn more, the layers of his conflict about his wife goes deeper, and the real monster/the phantom comes out just before the Climax. In the beginning we know there’s more, but we can’t see it, we feel it, we hear it, kind of like the Phantom of the Opera. Something big is destroying all the plans from the inside. This phantom has to peak out in the beginning of your story and play with our heads most of the rest of it. Or in Inception’s case long after the movie is over.
So if you want your story to pop at the beginning, you should open it with a Phantom peaking from behind the curtain.
Need help with your opener ask here. And save the date. A Good Excuse to Be Bad, book 1 of my new Evangel Crawford Bounty Hunter novel series releases Summer 2011 under my pen name, Miranda Parker.