Starting Out

I’m trying to put together a new opening for Mind & Machine.  I’m spending way too much time with the corporate setting, even establishing an extra conflict that goes nowhere at all.  Here’s a basic list of what I need to address:

  • Dalton.  This is one of the Decimal villains and he’s the viewpoint of the scene.  I need him to lay out his plan, then have Commander come blow it up.
  • PsiGrow.  The drug Dalton is shoving around.  It’s very important to the series as a whole, so I should bring it to the forefront.  It’s the reason why Commander is attacking.
  • Mr. Saint.  He’s a corporate guy Commander is manipulating to attack Dalton.

This and the immediate setting are all I need.  I’ve got about a page to work with, so I think I can pull it off.  Currently, it’s taking about a page and a half to do all this and the current version is much weaker.  So I need to make it tighter and much more efficient.

Something else I’ve realized I can do is follow a Christopher Nolan-like approach.  I have a prologue that features a personal scene with the main character.  I thought I’d try starting the first chapter with a paragraph showing Commander taking aim at the building he’ll attack on the next page.  He takes aim, remembers the past (the prologue), and–end scene.

At the very least, it could build some tension.


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