alright, this is kind of an add-on to my other post, but I need ideas for opening lines to a fantasy novel I'm working on. The main characters are Alok, prince of Loring, and Reuben, a misfit peasant. Later on there will be a sheild maiden.
Just start by describing one of your main characters in the process of doing something. It's honestly not that hard.
Or you could add some plot workings and start with a scene focusing on the antagonist planning something sinister.
You could start with Reuben in the village. Use other villagers and their words/actions towards Reuben to show that he's a misfit.
Example: Reuben walked through the village carrying the firewood he was to sell. His dark brown eyes searched around the town, looking for a place to set up. Not looking where he was going, Reuben tripped and fell into a bucket of pickeled sardine. The man at the booth scolded him.
"Reuben, can't you do ANYTHING? All day long, all you do is mess up. Get out of here. I don't want to see you near my booth again!"
After you portray Reuben, go on to talk about Alok. Is he a good prince, bad? Does he want to become King. What does he really want to do with his life?
Actions are the best way to start any form of story, you want to hook the reader. Start with them doing something that reflects their characters personality. I.e. an excited child would be running through the village, dashing between elders and baskets in the market to meet their hero as he returned from their latest adventure.
Prologues can be good as well, and they can easily include lots of plot points to get the reader thinking and questioning things. Intrigue them and get them hooked. Make the characters understable, maybe misunderstood, but mysterious, unveil their in depth personality slowly.
Maybe you should have a prologue of the shield maiden in the mist of battle against her foes, with which it ends upon a cliffhanger, which is then revealed later on in your novel when she joins your other characters, hence furthering the plot.
Hope this has helped :)
NICE. I like your idea for beginning Reuben's book, I just might put in a little more detail. But I understand that you can't put that all on here.
Alok is a good prince, he's just very mischeivous. Amazing how visitors to the castle get so up-tight over their beds being short-sheeted and mice inside their boots. He is rather reluctant about becoming king, wanting to live a free and adventurous life for as long as he can.
Haha! Would LOVE to read this when you're done. Are you posting it on the site?
i might try, I'm just more comfortable writing with pen and paper than on a computer and I'm not sure that the editors would accept it. :(
I understand. Good luck with it! It sounds really good.
Hook the reader. Intrest them. Whichever way you go, you always want to make the reader want to continue. One thing you don't want to do - onomonopias. It makes you sound young and unprofessional if you start your story with "Bam! Blah blah blah" or so on...
Hope this helped!
Read some of my stuff?
Alok is very hesitant to be prince, and the series shows how he matures and takes on responsiblity.
Reuben is sort of his...reluctant nemesis. They are friends, but Reuben has a past that offers many opportunites to betray Alok and gain something he considers important in the process.
Read some other novels in the fantasy genre and see how they open. Try emulating the styles you like, and add your own twist into it.
What I do is (as mentioned) start with action - it can be something as simple as a short talk with a friend, or it can be a life-threatening dagger fight; really, it's the 'get-up-and-go' that makes the reader want to keep reading. You can add in details as you go along, maybe what the character is thinking, or why they are doing whatever action you chose.
With Alok, is he mischevious as in pranking the visitors? That would give him a new dimension, but might also take away from his maturity in some views - or you could make his maturity mostly an act when in front of people, but behind their backs he is a little more himself. It's just a suggestion, so don't go with it if it's not what you imagined; stick to the plan you have.
This sounds like a great story, and I would like to read it if you post it. I skimmed the earlier responses and saw you had concerns about whether the editors will accept it or not... Well, I've found that they accept just about anything, as long as it isn't extremely inappropriate. I wouldn't worry about that too much:)
I'm just wondering if I post it online (here) will I still be able to send it into physical book publishers (I.E. Houghton Mifflin Harcort, etc)
they say you can as long as it isn't exclusive. (meaning the company gets exclusive rights to the book). Btw, this book is sounding amazing, and I agree with earlier posts: try getting the reader's attention with some kind of action, maybe something unanswered or unexplained, that will leave the reader wanting to know more. Hope this helped! (And hope to read it:) )
Start with your setting. My fantasy stuff usualy begins with a place, what was hapaning, the weather, what it looked like and then the character and what he/she was doing and why. You could start it with something like:
The rain splattered against the window. [insert name here] stood with his back to the window, wondering what he was to do.
I don't know. It sounds mystical.