Write Your Novel Step by Step (Home Page)

Write Your Novel
Step by Step

By Melanie Anne Phillips
Creator of StoryWeaver

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~ Step 89 ~

Plot - Act One Beginning

Now we'll get more detailed and divide each of the three acts into three parts, beginning, middle, and end.

The beginning of act one is the teaser.  It may or may not have anything to do with the actual plot of the story.  This is where you get the feel of the story and the feel of the main character.  A good example is in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  In the very beginning Indiana Jones replaces a statue with a bag of sand and then gets chased through a lot of booby traps.  This actually has nothing to do with the story to come, but it sets the tone and grips the audience.

In character driven novels, the plot teaser is often an introduction to the troubles of the principal characters in order to draw the reader into, among other things, buying the book.

In atmospheric novels, the plot teaser is an opportunity to introduce the reader to the kind of events from which the plot will be comprised, thereby establishing a context that will flavor all that happens in the plot for the course of the novel.

Referring to the material you selected for the first act, describe the exposition you wish to reveal to your audience right off the bat, as your story opens.