Setting Things In Motion

One of the main components of the beginnings of stories is that it is a jumping off point for everything. The plot and the characters take that first step forward and ask the reader if they would like to come along. If there is any point in the story that truly hooks the reader in, its within the first few pages.

A good way to get things into motion is the first big event. This also the point where you introduce the plot or have the big meeting of heroes. Essentially, the first big event is really the pushing off point for your characters because it establishes the mission for the story. It gives them the cause to do something that wouldn’t normally occur in their ‘normal’ lives.

On the other hand the big event can be something really small and can appear to be a foreshadowing moment. For example, when it comes to murder mysteries the big event is the murder of the victim or the finding of the victim. For fantasy it’s the revealing of the prophecy or when the mentor archetype meets the hero archetype and tells him about said prophecy. This what sets the hero’s journey off. The beginning of their grand quest so to speak.

This is also the best time to hook your reader in. Intriguing plot point or character reveal is necessary. If you don’t get them now, you probably wont even have them later. A small conflict, powerful action scenes can be a good way to hook the reader but only for a moment. To keep hold of them throw them clues for what they plot may be about. Foreshadow just a little bit. If you don’t give them something they might just put the book down and take it to a used bookstore.

But how far does your story allow for it setting off point?

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