First Chapter: Where do I Start?

#1
I have a story that I want to start writing, but, I don't know how to start writing it.

To be more specific, here is my inciting incident:
My main character is a young girl who has lived a heavily sheltered life.  Her parents decide that they want to send her to school, but their current place of residence is too dangerous for that.  They send her to live with some friends of the family in a safer place where she can start school, and the real plot picks up from there.  (Her parents don't come with her because of prior commitments, and they want her to become more independent.) 

Here is my problem:
I have tried writing my first chapter a few times, but I'm never satisfied with it. I want to show the readers some of the girl's past so that they understand the girl lived a sheltered life because that detail is important to the story.  However, I feel that doing that will delay the actual start of my story, so I kind of want to just jump into things and have the girl already attending the school.  Does anyone have any tips on possibly doing both without having to use some kind of flashback?

RE: First Chapter: Where do I Start?

#4
3/8/2018 9:45:45 PMOtakuButterfly Wrote: [ -> ]I have a story that I want to start writing, but, I don't know how to start writing it.

To be more specific, here is my inciting incident:
My main character is a young girl who has lived a heavily sheltered life.  Her parents decide that they want to send her to school, but their current place of residence is too dangerous for that.  They send her to live with some friends of the family in a safer place where she can start school, and the real plot picks up from there.  (Her parents don't come with her because of prior commitments, and they want her to become more independent.) 

Here is my problem:
I have tried writing my first chapter a few times, but I'm never satisfied with it. I want to show the readers some of the girl's past so that they understand the girl lived a sheltered life because that detail is important to the story.  However, I feel that doing that will delay the actual start of my story, so I kind of want to just jump into things and have the girl already attending the school.  Does anyone have any tips on possibly doing both without having to use some kind of flashback?


Your problem is a normal one in writing. Welcome to the club. I understand what you're trying to do and honestly, one of the best ways to work around that or craft that kind of chapter is read the work of others. Stephen King frequently does this. He has a style where he introduces characters poetically, their backstory by basically SHOWING their personality. 

Try reading THE STAND by Stephen King. You don't have to read the whole thing, but if you read the first few chapters, you'll get an understanding of the way he introduces characters. There are so many characters in this story and King introduces their backstory without deviating from the story.
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