Apr 9, 2013
by Terri Wagner
Having determined we are actually going to put pen to paper and write a "for real" novel, my coauthor and I have written precisely four opening scenes of which neither of us like. I did not realize writing with a partner could be so painful. The story is fairly simple, the plot typical for YA fantasy. It's the characters I hope are rich with great potential. The thing in fantasy is you have to love the characters. Frankly, the plots are all pretty much the same: hero/heroine who doesn't know their potential, wise mentor, quest established, creatures stopped, goal accomplished.
Now, there is a lot of wiggle room in that basic plot, but it is time honored. Think Joseph Campbell's The Power of the Myth. George Lucas used it and look where it got him.
So back to my story...how do you reconcile two different visions of the same book? We can agree on our characters; I think they will be loved. We can agree on the quest...that's not really hard, saving the fantasy world from a fate worse than death. We agree on the sweet romances that will eventually develop. We agree on what creatures will come into play...trolls, elves, dwarves, etc.
What we can't seem to agree on is the opening scene...well, I should say the second scene. The first one in any good fantasy is the nebulous beginning that always portends the quest. I say a rousing action scene with back story woven in. My partner favors a focus on one of the main if not the main character. She says Harry Potter, the Ranger series, Artmeis Fowl, they all started with the back story and led up to action.
So what say you? And while you are at it enjoy this version of Misty Mountain, the lost dwarven home of Middle Earth.