Tuesday, February 16, 2010

TODAY'S NUGGET: Interesting Intros

I like meeting characters & enjoy reading introductions to see what I'm in for.

Are they an accurate snapshot or clunky? It's kind of like when someone describes their spouse, but when you meet him/her, you realize it's skewed, or dead on.

A few things I like to see:

1. Active descriptions that show the character in mid-action. ex. "SAM (30), dressed in a pink tutu, pranced through the market. Somehow she was the distraction as well as the ringmaster."

2. If you're going to describe their internal attitude, use adjectives that lend themselves to physical action. ex. "TONY (50) was a sarcastic atheist, yet he still said a prayer every time he entered Yankee stadium."

3. A character's traits should be seen in his/her clothes, accessories, haircut, etc. But don't add details that don't matter. ex. I don't need to know he likes the color green if it doesn't affect the plot.

4. The best intro I saw was one that built so I couldn't wait for the character to speak. The writer gave little clues, little glimpses, little actions, then BAM! a visual of the whole character that contradicted all the little stuff. I couldn't wait for the first line of dialogue!

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: You only have one chance for a first introduction.

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