I first read The Fire In Fiction a few months ago when it first came out as a follow up to Writing The Breakout Novel (which still stands as my favorite on writing). But yesterday I picked it back up to scan the parts of the book I'd highlighted.
Specifically, pages 27-31, which talk about what makes your character great. On page 31 Mr. Maass says:
"In establishing her [protagonist] at the outset, it is important to look not toward what she will do later in the story but the impact she has on others now...who in your hero's circle already has respect, feels awe, so that we can feel it too?"
I don't know about you, but opening the story is for me the hardest part of a novel. Your first few pages have to accomplish so much. And part of what they have to accomplish is making you care about a character you haven't had time to get to know - which is what Mr. Maass is getting at here.
So I'm curious, for those of you who have read The Fire In Fiction - have you tried this particular exercise - reworking your beginning with this impact exercise in mind, and how did it work for you? I'm going to give it a whirl tonight and see how it goes. Thinking about the possibilities - I wonder if you can show that impact if you are writing a scene from that same protagonist's point of view, or is it better coming from a different character's POV? I think I may try it both ways and see how it pans out.
Have a blessed week of writing!