Further to the earlier blog post on beginnings:
From different courses I have some practice exercises for beginnings.
The beginning is important to any writing so I thought this was useful to share.
This time a more popular beginning than the last.
Bear in mind that these beginnings have received healthy criticism in their time.
There are different styles of beginning the previous one was “Third Person Objective.” this one is the “First Person Main Character” beginning.
In this the main character narrates the story and will be the “I” in the text.
The first person main character is one of the most commonly used points of view.
It allows the reader to have empathy with the character as they see the world through their eyes.
Because you control the point of view you can lead the reader in a direction that you choose.
You can make them feel that they are participating or even mislead (and surprise them).
It is also easier on the author who can work with one point of view only.
Unfortunately it brings the same restrictions as a single point of view in any walk of life. You can only see through one character’s eyes. You limit yourself to their perspective (which might be biased or unreliable).
Elements that occur outside of that character’s awareness are more difficult to introduce into the story.
These beginnings will all involve my favourite character at the time of writing “Dave the Effective Detective”.
I’ve never thought of a story in which he belongs. Condemning him to appear only in these beginnings.
The First Person Main Character Beginning
“I shouldn’t have done it, oh no I shouldn’t have done. Oh, they will lock me up me up now and I’ll lose everything.
The house will go and the car and I’ll be alone and I can’t deal with being alone and where will I be then.
Oh no I shouldn’t have done it” “Yes I should, I should have done it. I shouldn’t have failed, stupid Dave, can’t even work out how to kill himself. Dave the fool, Dave the idiot. Stupid, stupid, how hard can it be Dave?
A car, a hose, a running engine, Dave, eh?”
“You’re just worthless; you knew you were, worthless oh you should never have tried it.”
In my mind, amongst the voices declaring my worthlessness, a calm and quiet voice was whispering “get a hold of yourself Dave; hold it together Dave; come on Dave you can do it.” A voice now drowned by the babble of self-accusatory tones. I can’t face Belinda; she got me here of course.
I can’t move – I can’t face the space outside that door.
Outside that door now seems so threatening it feels like a doorway to a world I no longer know, I don’t belong there.
I know that I soiled myself in the night, but I feel nothing, I do nothing. I can’t feel anything; I just listen to the voices in my head again.
“Useless Dave, hopeless Dave”