So, I finished my book, The Society, last year. Which is a Dystopian Vampire Romance. I have lots of love for that piece of work. My leading male, is brooding, gorgeous and tortured. My leading female is tough, sexy and powerful. When I wrote it, I wanted the first chapter to be from the point of view of the leading male, Mason. It involved Mason and a group of humans he is helping to gather supplies. I liked the beginning. I felt it really gave a good overview of what the world was like now. So I decided to show it to a friend of mine. Who, let's just say, didn't care for it. He pointed out that Mason had to be a character that people liked and wanted to root for, and that chapter just didn't do that.
At first I was upset. I thought the chapter did a great job of showing you who Mason is. But as I pondered his words, I realized that I was seeing Mason through a "Creators" eyes. I already knew Mason. His back story, his loves, his fears, his vital stats. Readers, don't. I have to show readers all of those things about Mason, not just assume that they will already know them.
So I sat down and thought of ten new ways I could start the story. One of them stuck out to me. So I thought about it a bit, and decided to see what I could make out of the new idea. I was pleasantly surprised by a few things. First, I was able to show a lot more of the human world in this new first chapter, than was seen in the old one. Second, I was able to develop something in Mason, that hadn't been seen before. Compassion. I was able to build into Mason's character a way for people to want to root for him. Not just because he is the main character, but because of who he is.
As I look at the new first chapter, I am finding a new depth to Mason that wasn't there before. Avenues of his personality and back story to be explored. Also, I am finding new little subplots and conflicts that I will be able to use later on in the book to add those extra little dynamics needed to round out a story.
Amazing how one character can create so many endless possibilities!