serria: (Default)
[personal profile] serria posting in [community profile] write_away
I saw this writing prompt just a moment ago, and it kind of made me laugh. What "opener" pet peeves do you have? I'm kind of sick of symbolic dreams tossed right at the beginning, or characters just waking up. It feels too overdone to have much of an effect on me anymore.

Date: 2014-09-15 04:39 pm (UTC)
sarillia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sarillia
I laughed when Divergent had the narrator looking in a mirror and describing herself at the beginning. It made sense as a significant event in the context of the world she lives in but I couldn't help being amused anyway.

Date: 2014-09-15 06:44 pm (UTC)
inkdust: (Default)
From: [personal profile] inkdust
Significant to the context or not, oh goodness no.

Date: 2014-09-15 08:30 pm (UTC)
dhampyresa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dhampyresa
People still do that? Wow.

Date: 2014-09-15 11:22 pm (UTC)
splinteredstar: (Default)
From: [personal profile] splinteredstar
Yeah, I enjoyed Divergent but yeah. That bit.

Date: 2014-09-16 10:10 am (UTC)
graychalk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] graychalk
Heh, I felt the same way, but once I realized the significance of the mirror-looking thing, I was much less critical about it. I do remember thinking, "How convenient!" though, haha.

Date: 2014-09-15 06:47 pm (UTC)
inkdust: (Default)
From: [personal profile] inkdust
Yep - dreams, flashbacks, waking up, ruminating alone on the current situation for a couple pages without actually showing any of it.

Date: 2014-09-15 08:35 pm (UTC)
dhampyresa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dhampyresa
Honestly, I would rather books start with something happening. Nobody cares if your monarchy is agnatic or cognatic or agnatic-cognatic or whatever, just tell us about the part where the various heirs to the throne punch each other in the face already. Make me care before you lecture me.

Date: 2014-09-15 11:24 pm (UTC)
splinteredstar: (Default)
From: [personal profile] splinteredstar
Book I read for school (The Magnificent Ambersons, I think) started out, not with prose, but several pages talking about the development of the department store.


Date: 2014-09-16 06:38 am (UTC)
ljlee: (muzi_um)
From: [personal profile] ljlee
(Moved because I responded to the wrong post.)

Ditto on infodumpy beginnings where nothing happens. On the opposite end are beginnings where too much happens too quickly, explicit sex between characters I don't know, explosions and fights whose stakes I can't comprehend and more importantly have no reason to care about. I remember clicking the "back" button in a hurry away from a story where literally the first sentence started with "he thrust roughly into her." Even the cheesiest porn has some buildup, man.

Also, not my own peeve because I didn't see a whole lot of this myself, but I was guilty of this: The latest On the Premises newsletter mentioned "fake beginnings," where the action that starts out the story isn't the real start, but rather a flashback or dream as [personal profile] inkdust mentioned, a play the main character was acting in, etc. I blushed because I did exactly this in my (most deservedly) rejected OTP submission about the protagonist's struggle to write a story, leading with a scene she was writing and later rejected. Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Date: 2014-09-17 02:49 am (UTC)
ljlee: (embarrassed)
From: [personal profile] ljlee
Yeah, it's one of those things that could have worked if done well. I don't think I brought that level of skill to it, unfortunately. *embarassed laugh*

Date: 2014-09-16 05:04 pm (UTC)
inkdust: (Default)
From: [personal profile] inkdust
That sex opening made me cringe so hard! Gah. I agree openings scenes with too much potential to be disorienting do themselves a great disservice. I also agree with Serria that I can imagine a "fake beginning" that really pulls it off, but probably something more like your scrapped scene than such a standard device like a dream or flashback. Like most "rules" of writing, I suppose, there are always exceptions that work. You can break the rules if you break them well enough, right? The trouble is knowing whether you're doing it well enough :D

Date: 2014-09-17 02:50 am (UTC)
ljlee: (muzi_shock)
From: [personal profile] ljlee
You can break the rules if you break them well enough, right? The trouble is knowing whether you're doing it well enough :D


ETA: Yes, that opening... my reaction was basically my icon. D: I've both read and written smut, and "Gah! Too much too soon!" is definitely not the path to eroticism. My discomfort was even greater because I knew the characters in this fanfic were teenagers, the young lady being fourteen at the time and the young man probably fifteen or sixteen. You don't need to thank me for that tidbit, I love to spread around the trauma.
Edited (Remembered horror) Date: 2014-09-17 05:30 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-09-17 01:53 pm (UTC)
inkdust: (Default)
From: [personal profile] inkdust
Hahaha. We'll both make your icon's face.


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