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Thread: Help Wanted!

  1. #1
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    Help Wanted!

    Iím having trouble deciding where to begin my story and could use some input. Hereís the situation:

    My MC and his LL {leading lady} once were officers in the Republic Fleet until his involvement in a deadly political scandal ruined his career and made him a fugitive. She resigned her commission shortly thereafter to follow him but was always a step or two behind until her abduction brought them to a frontier-like planet. After rescuing her, the pair now own and operate the saloon of her late abductor.

    This is back story.

    Today the couple, on behalf of a new friend, think they are about to meet with some big shot from an import/export company but they quickly discover itís the admiral who court-martialed my MC. He wants my MCís help in locating his missing son whoís also an officer in the Fleet and accused of killing his captain and crew.

    Naturally, the couple could care less about the admiralís problems but his son happens to be a dear friend. The admiral is offering a chance for my MC to clear his name and redeem his career.

    This is the main story.

    As a writer I want to give my readers some insight as to why the admiral comes crawling to my MC for help but I donít want Chapter One turning into too much of an info dump as my previous attempts have been.

    Any thoughts?



  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
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    You can start with the murder if you want to drop people right into an action scene. Then go to the saloon on what seems like an ordinary night until the admiral shows up. The admiral says, "I need your help." They say, "Why should we help you, you dirty so-and-so?" And the admiral says, "Because it's little Timmy who's gone missing." They say, "We'll do it for little Timmy but not you, you so-and-so." Then they sit down and talk business and you should be off and rolling.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    I'd be more inclined to start in the saloon, and reveal the circumstances of the admiral's visit during the private conversation that occurs after MC and LL wipe the floor with his sorry a** for daring to show his face around them again. (I'm presuming, of course, that the admiral is on the planet clandestinely and doesn't show up with a troop of marines at his back.)

    Much of the backstory can be revealed in the back-and-forth between the characters, as the admiral slowly chips away at their resolve. You'll have to justify the admiral's decision to go to MC and LL for help, though: why are they the only ones who can clear his son, and why would the admiral trust them? Were they the fall guys for bogus charges? Does the admiral know they're actually innocent (assuming that they are)? Do they have special skills or knowledge that no one else has that are essential for the task? It has to be plausible, or you'll lose us early on.

  4. #4
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    I like a bar scene too. Separate the MC and LL like it was tradecraft in a spy novel. You can chuck in some back story from two sources when they realize who they are meeting.

  5. #5
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    As always, many thanks for the help.

    At the moment I'm leaning towards starting my story the morning of the meeting,probably in the apartment they share, and using that time to inform my readers of a little background of the situation rather than have the admiral just show up out of the blue.

    Some of you may recall the shootout scene from my earlier posts. This was intended to the same thing, only the readers became too involved with that particular scene and I don't want to make the same mistake twice.

    That one told a bit of history from my LL's P.O.V. readers seemed to lose interest when they discovered she's not my MC. This way, my dialogue between both characters will be able to do the same job as before, only giving the readers a better understanding of background and getting to the main story quicker.

    I'll keep you posted on what I decide, but regardless, Thanks again for the insight.

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