Sunday, May 5

The Enticing Incident...

Sounds dirty, huh? Sorry to disappoint, it's not ;-)
In my last post, I mentioned that I've been reading K.M. Weiland's how-to book Outlining Your Novel. One of the things she touches on is "the enticing incident", that point of no return for your charcters where their lives are changed forever. In a romance, that's usually when they meet, although I suppose it could also be some defining moment of the relationship.
Weiland suggests that this incident should take place within the first quarter of the book.
I balked when I read that and was all set to post long and loud about how wrong that idea is. You can't make your readers wait five or six chapters for the defining moment! My wisdom (such as it is) tells me it should happen on page one. At least by the end of Chapter One.
And then I proceeded to add two whole chapters (almost 3000 words total) to the beginning of my WIP (A Place to Belong), thus delaying Andy and Dillon's enticing incident, the moment when two lonely men meet in a darkend bar and decide "fuck it"...or rather "let's fuck each other".
All things considered, I like the new beginning better. I'm hoping readers will too, it gives them a chance to get to know the characters a little better on their own, get a peek into each of their lives, before they actually meet.
So what do you think? How soon do you need your characters (either the ones you write about or the ones you read about) to have their "enticing incident" before you get bored? 
I'm leaving you tonight with a video that *so* sums up Andy's character that I decided it was his favorite song by his favorite artist.
You can also find the first two chapters (and remember, they are TOTALLY unedited) here. You'll have to scroll a little, but the excerpts are pretty clearly marked.

Last but not least, don't forget:

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to H.B. Pattskyns




Anonymous said...

I read mainly for the story with the sex as an enhancer. When the sex is one of the first things in the book, it sort of sets the book's tone and lessens the appeal of the story. When it happens later it's a wow thing and has a greater impact.

Just my two cents.

H.B. Pattskyn said...

I agree that sex isn't the important part of a romance, but it can depend on the characters when it happens.

In the case of Andy and Dillon (A Place to Belong), all either of them thinks he wants is the sex, it takes them a while to realize there's something more going on. I think that happens in real life, too. Jason and Henry start off having sex pretty quick too -- but that's not unheard of at a sci fi con ;-)

But there definitely needs to be good story or it's not going to hold anybody's attention for long.