Last week, I was given a “re-visioning” tip by a very successful, very generous author:
Look at your story once the first draft is done. Then, change the starting point and re-write the story.
I tried this with one of my short stories, and was intrigued to see how it changed my story, and changed it for the better. I came up with the following reasons why this worked:
1. Most pantsers
(like me) write their way into their stories, figuring out the setting, the characters, and the action as we go along. So, at the revision stage, it is very helpful to clear out all the humming and hawing
we do as we get into gear.
2. Sometimes, a great hook gets embedded in the story, and needs to be pulled out front at the beginning.
3. The same story can be told in many ways, from different points of view, using different voices and tenses. The idea is to figure out how best to keep the reader’s attention. Shifting a starting point often leads to a shift in the above, which might help keep the reader guessing.
4. Starting a story at the end is the oldest trick in the book, and depending on the subject matter, can bring about some fascinating results.
5. Experimenting with where to start the story can produce interesting twists and turns in the plot.
Do you ever change the starting points of your story when you revise
it? If yes, would you like to add to the list ?