I am working on my first novel. As with most works, finding the correct starting place can be difficult. Have I started the story too early? Is my audience going to be bored and put the book down? Have I started too late? Does my audience need more information to care about the main charactor before they find out the conflict of the story?
These are questions all authors, novice or professional, must answer. I read an interview in which an editor asked why she should care why the protagonist had a conflict if she didn't care about the protagonist as a charactor first.
With this in mind, I am trying to create a balance between hooking my reader before they lose interest and making them care about my charactors. One of the problems I am running into is making my antagonists too horrid and my protagonist too angelic. If all of my characters are going to be believable, they all need to have both good and bad qualities. No person is all good or bad. Making realistic characters can make or break a novel, no matter how good the plot.
Where do I start my novel? On page one, of course.