This is part I (some call it Act I), and it comprises the first quarter of your novel. So if you are writing a novel of approximately 24 chapters (assuming approximately 3-5,000 words per chapter), this part will cover the first six chapters.
Today's questions for reflection will deal with the first 1/2 to 2/3 of this first part. This is where you introduce the setting, the protagonist's "ordinary" world, the main characters, and prepare the reader for the protagonist's journey. (The protagonist is currently in a state of innocence, in that he/she is not aware he/she is about to take this journey yet.)
1. The opening of the novel MUST provide a hook, to keep the reader reading. How will your opening surprise or intrigue your reader? What is unusual or unexpected in the setting, the main character or the event unfolding on the first page? What conflict will there be in the opening scene?
2. What is the world of the protagonist like? Is he/she happy in it? Is he thriving or just surviving? Is she in conflict with her world?
3. What is the protagonist's "simple, everyday goal" in this world?
4. How will you hint at the backstory/secret/scar/flaw in your protagonist?
5. How will you introduce the antagonist in a way that will show what he/she is capable of, what the protagonist will be up against?
These questions should be answered in the first 3-4 chapters of your novel.
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