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book intros vs movie intros

a lot of books start slow. even very good books. (fiction books. stories.)

Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead are boring for 5-10 pages, maybe more. So is Speaker for the Dead. And not a lot happens in The Fellowship of the Ring for like 50 pages.

A lot of movies start with an action scene (or something else especially cool). like The Matrix or Transformers. then they have their first more mundane scene after the action scene gets your attention.

movies have it right. if you want an audience, give them something they'll really like as fast as possible. as fast as possible is not on page 20. you don't have to introduce all your characters before you can have a scene people like. just make something cool happen that isn't fully explained yet. then the more mundane character introducing scenes will be better! b/c they will now have the added purpose of explaining parts of the first scene.

Elliot Temple on November 8, 2007


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