In my last post, I discussed whether the “Call to Action” had to appear in chapter 1 of a book—and decided, in short, not necessarily. However, that’s not to say that the opening isn’t important. It’s crucially important. It’s just that, sometimes, I think that presenting the characters and their situation (the “real world” for those fans of The Writer’s Journey—an excellent craft book) may be more important than diving straight into action.
So what’s this mean for my book?
It means that I have to decide what my book is about. Is it a straight-up adventure about solving a series of mysterious disappearances? Is it primarily a magical encounter, where the main character is learning about this strange underwater world surrounding the San Juan Islands?
Or is it primarily the story of a girl troubled by the past, trying to discover who she is?
I think I have a call to action in my opening chapter now. It’s not the sort I expected when I was brainstorming ideas with my critique group. But it’s the sort that fits with the story, or with what the story wants to be.
And of course, I would never have gotten there without my group :).