Have you ever had an ah-ha! moment like I just did? One that makes the trouble spot in your novel jump up and down and say, "Rewrite me! Rewrite me! I'm the part that sucks!"
I knew very well that one of the first things a writer plots for is the INCITING INCIDENT, the moment the mc makes a choice that sets them on a journey they can't turn back from.
However, this, apparently, is NOT enough to make that novel's beginning really work.
Please read THIS post, written by Larry Brooks at Storyfix.com, especially if you struggle with figuring out that great starting place for your novel.
Here are some brilliant snippets from the article to make you want to click on the link and read the whole darn thing yourself. Plus, he's written books on the stuff. You may want those too! You can learn more about those at the bottom of his post if you click on that link I gave you up there!
THE INCITING INCIDENT MAY NOT BE ENOUGH BECAUSE...
"...unless OTHER things are ignited here, it may simply be just that: a change. A step forward. A mission not yet full realized."
WHEREAS THE FIRST PLOT POINT DOES MORE THAN JUST MOVE THE PLOT FORWARD...
"... it FULLY introduces the nature of the conflict, with stakes in place, and thus creates your hero’s goal."
"The FPP launches a problem-solving, goal-specific quest or journey. There is a bad guy (or force) that will block that path. And – this is CRITICAL – this all happens in the presence of STAKES and consequences."
Amazingly well put. Thank you Larry Brooks. (I thank you and so do my main characters--well, maybe not right away, but once they get out of the messes I put them in and other people besides my CPs read about them they will be incredibly grateful!)
imagine here a picture of a starting line, of racers ready to embark on a two hour long run.
see? we're writers. who needs an actual photo when we've got imagination on our side?
on your marks, get set, GO! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!