I don't know where to start...

Started by Gunnox (Gustav), October 09, 2010, 04:32:42 PM

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Gunnox (Gustav)

I dont know what I should write at the first page with text...
Should I start with "Enter the fictional world of..." or "LichScape is a..." or what do you suggest?
Sorry if this question is dumb but I really don't know how to write a good introduction or what I should introduce first.


Mathew E. Reuther

I'd suggest picking up a dozen books and reading the first pages. See what strikes you as "I enjoy that" and what makes you think "that's not really interesting" . . . sit down and write up an intro after the exercise. Walk away. Watch a TV show. Talk with a friend. Come back a bit later and read your intro.

Then rewrite it to make any changes which stuck you during the read-through.

(Some people will tell you not to read things in-genre btw. Some authors read only books out of their genre . . . I think they'd crazy personally. :) )
Knee deep in the Change System's guts . . .

Ron Edwards

Hi there,

I know of no definitive answer to this question. One of the most difficult issues concerns one's intended audience, which in our hobby, is a matter of rather deeply felt contention.

However, I think I can provide one piece of solid advice: writing your introduction is probably the worst place to start. Just because they will be reading it first, doesn't mean it's the thing you have to write first.

Consider the most important stuff that you will be writing:

Raw Color - excitement and fascination and inspiration about the topics to be imagined
Procedural instructions - "the rules"
Reward - making it clear at all levels what in the world is supposed to be the fun of doing this

How you organize these together (because they're not separate), and how you arrive at a personal tone, and what parts you really want to stand out ... that's the task you should be considering, as a writer. That's a matter of outlines and blocks of notes that you switch around in different orders, deciding what you think works best.

Once you have that hammered out, and again, it doesn't matter if you've written a damn thing that someone else will actually be reading, only then is it time to consider how you want to introduce it.

People get stuck right at the very point you're talking about, all the time. They don't have to. The key is to let that step come a lot later, perhaps even last.

Best, Ron

Mathew E. Reuther

I agree that you don't have to write any specific thing first, let alone the introduction. I'd also say that even if you do choose to write it early on, by the time you get done with your final draft, it will have gone through a number of iterations, even if you wrote it last, it'll invariably end up changing a bit from what you initially put on the page.

The question of audience is indeed highly influential in what the introduction (and even the general tone of the work) will look like.

And just as there's no definitive answer to how to write the intro, there's none on how to do anything, really. For some people one thing will work, while for others, something else will. I have my own personal approach to this whole thing. It's not the one most people would choose, I'm sure . ..  but hey, we're all indie-viduals here, right? :)
Knee deep in the Change System's guts . . .


When you're doing sales--and this introduction is a sale--try to hook the emotions first. It doesn't have to be: bang, pow, zap; but it must be intriguing enough to cause the person to read further. Best advice I got years ago was "Go for the Gusto."

For example the first paragraph of a game I am soon to release...

Now listen yoke bellies, and I'll tell you of our world and how it got this way. It begins beyond the memory of the oldest of us. The doom of this Dead Earth begins not beneath the ground or under the seas, but from the heavens above. Those lights you see that we call stars are actually other suns like the one that lights our days. You will learn the constellations and see how steady they are. This is false. Stars move.

My best advice is to put the people in the world and make them want to stay for the ride.

Best of Luck, Keith
Idea men are a dime a dozen--and overpriced!