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Why “Start Your Novel Is With Action” is Bad Advice

Categories: Questions & Quandaries Blog, Writing Advice Tags: Brian Klems, questions and quandaries.

The cliché “start your novel with action” has a flaw—and it’s a major one: What good is the action if it isn’t grounded in context that’s important to the story or draws you to the main character? It’s much, much better to start your story with tension, like a character conflict or a character who’s not getting what he wants. This gives the reader a reason to feel connected.


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One Response to Why “Start Your Novel Is With Action” is Bad Advice

  1. JonathanGunson says:

    Hi Brian

    Yes Sir. Sam Goldwyn may have said, “Start with an earthquake and move on up from there!” But the big problem with this is that after reading an entire book driven by such kinetic tricks, one is left feeling distinctly hungover, as if there was no food, only stimulants. (The Da Vinci Code?)

    But the great unwashed public likes a hangover and so does Hollywood. Ah me, such is life.

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