I’m working on the new first chapter for Blood Winter. One of the issues is how fast to get into the action. It used to be that you could get into action after a few pages or even a chapter. With urban fantasy, things sped up and it started to be something you wanted to see on the first page. Now I’ve begun to seriously think about where the action should begin. It has to mix in with a number of things: establishing characters, setting, situation, action . . . Plus getting the reader’s attention/sympathy/interest. That’s a lot to get done on the first page.
I’m starting at a different point in the revisions of Blood Winter in order to develop some more of the story and to add a few action scenes to set up character. The thing is, the action stuff might not happen on the very first page. It might take me more than that to get things going. The question is this: is the stuff I think is important enough to delay the action really as important as all that? I might end up having to cut it out. At this point, I’m back to the drafting element of things where it’s more important to get the words down than to edit. I’ll see what it looks like when I get it done.
But what do you think? How patient are you in getting to the action? What books are your favorite for starting well?