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I have been writing and working on a fictional novel that is in first person, and have been getting stuck when it comes to the main character introducing the afterlife they have been introduced in. Should I begin the intro with the current events, and what the main character thinks of it, or what the afterlife is like and such and how it began? I can't be too sure in which to start with.

Hey, Tyler...

Well, yeah... sometimes it's hard to know which way to go about something before doing it.  And unfortunately, I don't know if it's even possible for you to know which is the better choice ahead of time.

You might wish to go ahead and try both and see which you like better.  However, you should probably consider, for example, which opening will grab the readers' attention more quickly, and hold it more thoroughly.  This sort of thing is often done using action (which in your example might be the current events scenario), but can also be done with unusual circumstances (which in your example would probably be the afterlife scenario).

Trial and error, Tyler...  Dive in, try both, and see which one works better.  

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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