Friday, January 28, 2011
When do they meet?
All else being equal, [(all else) = (=)] in genre Romance, you put the protagonists together in Scene One or Scene Two.
This is because the story is about the relationship between the H&H
and you want to get the story started.
Now, sometimes you can introduce that relationship without putting the H&H onstage at the same time. Books might start with letters exchanged or one protagonist neckdeep in dealing with problems related to the other. In such stories the H&H do not 'meet', but they do have a relationship,
and that relationship is put onstage.
Or, look at the question the other way round --
What is more important in those early chapters than the relationship story? If you decide not to put the H&H together . . . are you instead frontloading backstory, worldbuilding, or suspense subplot. Consider whether those would be better fed in later as backdrop to your main line of story.
When traditional wisdom says, 'the H&H should meet in the first or second scene,' what C.W. is saying is, "Stop putzing about and Get The Story Started.'
That is good advice in any genre.