You may not remember, but several weeks ago (or maybe months) I posted about my four writing projects. You can check that post out here. If you did read it, you may recall that I could not figure out where to start my WIP #3, an epic fantasy project. I had tons of backstory and characterization written out but I had no idea where to start this thing. Because I knew the story should start when the king dies, but I felt like there was too much important backstory that needed to be introduced first.
Another problem I was messing with in the back of my mind was that the story seemed to have no definable bad guy, and I wanted to give it one, to make the story more intense if you will.
So I was recently reading a story where there were two brothers vying for a throne and brother number 1 refused to kill brother number 2 when brother number 1 won the battle. Since my story does involve (inadvertantly and on one of them's part unknowingly) vying for a throne, my immediate thought was what if Brother A kills Brother B.
Now this is a trope. It's Cain and Abel, one brother killing another. One brother killing the other for a throne. But it hit me like a jolt of inspiration. Because in my original story Brother A and Brother B were the type of people who would never kill the other.
In short, they were too nice.
So even though I'm not sold on ending my story with one of them killing the other, I am sold on completely changing Brother A's character. He starts out the herioc hero I originally wanted him to be, but over the course of the story he changes into the sort of character who would kill his own brother for a throne.
This has almost completely changed my story. I know have to structure events so that they cause Brother A's character and ideals to morph.
I went back and redefined each character's growth throughout the book, thinking about how I wanted them all to get from some point 1 to point b, but most importantly leads Brother A to go from hero to villain.
And suddenly I knew where to start my story.
It is going to start with the death of the king, but now I don't need to explain a whole bunch of backstory beforehand. Because now it's important to know who each character is when the king dies and to see who they become in the aftermath.
I'm excited about getting to work on writing the first couple of chapters, to define these characters.
Now if my homework would only give me time to write!