Starting off with a bang, & why you shouldn’t

July 14, 2014

The first episode of Tokyo ESP started off in medias res, and with a bang. It was all light and noise, and little (almost nothing) in the way of character development. I understand why they did this, but I don’t think it was a good idea.

Speaking as a storyteller, there’s a desire to front load as much of the fun stuff as possible. You want to grab the reader’s attention. That’s understandable. Without an audience, you don’t get to keep telling stories.

It’s tricky though. You often need to start off slow in order to establish the story properly, but if it’s too slow, people may stop reading, and then where will you be? So some stories front load the action, at the expense of the story. That’s often a mistake.

I think the best idea is to not worry about people dropping your story. Tell the best story you can–even if that means starting slower than you’d like–and if some people wander off, so be it. You can’t win them all, but you can lose them all trying.

I understand the worry though. When you know there’s so many great things coming, if only they would hold on just a little longer…

I understand. I truly do.

Addendum: I know it’s presumptuous to use Tokyo ESP as an example when only one episode has aired, but I fully expect to look silly if I’m wrong. The point stands, even if one example manages to dodge the bullet.

As always, thank you for using my Amazon Affiliate link (info).

By Stephen W. Gee

Author of Wage Slave Rebellion, Freelance Heroics, and about two good blog posts out of a hundred.

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