What is a great way to introduce the main character in your novel?
I'm writing a novel and I've got a general outline, plot and characters done up. I'm not sure how to introduce my main character in chapter one. Any ideas or helpful tips that could be given would be great.
I might now help very much... but I can tell you what I do? Maybe that will tell you if you want to do it or not and help dwindle down the possibilities?
I don't really write stories much, but when I do, sometimes I just write it in the main characters POV, then I just make it so they look in a mirror or something reflective and write something about their features. Such as, (okay, I'm just going to freewrite something really quick, so sorry if it sucks)
"I glanced in the mirror before I left the bathroom and my gaze traveled to my brown hair that traveled to below my waist and seemed to shine in the dim light, then I found myself staring at my eyes. Everyone had always told my that my eyes seemed to have a warm texture to it, and I guess they could see that as they always described my eyes as a light brown, almost on the verge of hazel. Yet when I looked in the mirror, all I saw was a pair of brown eyes that had seen too much pain and sadness. I was harshly thrown out of my thoughts from a banging on the door and my annoying brother's voice telling me to hurry up."
yeah,, something like that? Sorry, I'm not reading over that so please excuse any spelling or grammar errors, but something like that is how I usually do it. Unless I'm writing from a different character then I explain the main character from the POV that I am writing in for a while.
Sorry, that was really long.... but hopefully it helped somewhat?
As the book is all about your main character, it is best to begin from his point of view. Introduce him with the first sentence. "The brilliant sunny day was lost on John Smith, occupied as he was with all his cares." That kind of introduction leaves us with questions: Who is John Smith and what are his troubles? Just my thoughts. Lynda
I definitely agree with the other two answers. When I'm introducing my character, I use their point of view (eg "I went to the supermarket"). Sometimes to switch it up, I would have another important character's point of view. That can become really useful, as it lets you reveal things about this character that others might not see (eg they might have problems at home, low self confidence, etc)
Also, just be really descriptive. Not to the point of overexaggeration, but write the story in such a way that the reader can imagine being in the same room or area as the characters, and feel emotions along with the characters.
I remember one time I was reading a book (not exactly sure which one it was) and the two main characters were sitting in a diner, about to have lunch. The guy went to get the sandwiches, and then suddenly came back saying that they had to leave abruptly. They ran out of the diner, and obviously didn't have the sandwiches.
When I was reading this, a few minutes later, I thought to myself "But I didn't get my sandwich!" then I laughed when I realized that I'd become so immersed in the story that I was expecting a sandwich.
I might have rambled a bit, but I hope my answer helps you.
Try not to think of it as a grand entrance, otherwise you risk over-complicating a simple introduction. Jump right into the character and get the ball rolling. Don't worry about getting that lengthy description in there; you already know what they look like and details are better included during the editing phase. Right now just focus on getting the character's feet on the ground so that they, and the plot, can get moving. As the story picks up, most of the character's traits will fill in as you go.
If it's not from a first person point of view, a good way is to first help your readers picture the character's surroundings. Start by painting a picture in our minds of where someone like him/her is likely to be on the day/at the time your novel begins. Then give some brief characteristics of your character and end up with the physical.
A short example would be:
"In the old steel mill, halfway across the river Thames, there is a room. The doors never open and no sounds ever leave it, but all who pass by know there is life within it. Those that choose to explore it are often the most adventurous (and as such, the most foolish). Jane Doe is one of these. At age 12 she always knew she would grow up to be used as an example to illustrate an answer; she just didn't know when. Now, 35 years later, she begins to suspect she is being used right now."
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