Cold, please. Very cold.
What I’m working on this week is a so-called “cold open” for the next book, Book 3, which I’m also calling “The First Daria Book.”
And no: “cold open” may not be the proper term. I have, alas, never taken a fiction-writing course, so I make up a lot of this stuff.
A cold open is an introductory scene that has nothing to do with the rest of the novel’s plot. Think of it as the action sequence in the opening of a James Bond movie: Our hero deftly defeats some no-good-nic, we smash-cut to the animated credit role and music, then the next act introduces the plot of the rest of the film.
I decided to try one of those for the Daria Book.
Not as easy as it sounds. Will readers of this book know who she is? (Which is to say: Will they have read “Crashers” and “Breaking Point?”) I don’t know. Maybe. So I have to walk the line between a little narrative to set up her story, but not so much narrative that the action sequence doesn’t start out with a hyper-sonic BANG!
Here’s the good news. You wouldn’t try this stunt in a straight-up literary novel, but you can in a thriller. That’s because, in a thriller, action should (must?) serve as character development. You put your heroine in a dangerous situation – or she puts herself in such a situation – and how she responds tells the reader a lot about her.
That’s the theory, at least.
We’ll see if I can pull it off.