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.

About danahaynes

Dana Haynes is the author of ICE COLD KILL (2013), BREAKING POINT (2011) and CRASHERS (2010) from Minotaur and St. Martin's Press.

Posted on July 18, 2011, in Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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