Starting Your Book With Exposition

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A lot of people are asking if they should start their novel off with exposition and the answer is no! Do not take those first 5-6 precious paragraphs you need to catch a reader’s attention and waste them on useless narration. Do not put back story into them. In fact, you don’t have to write the back story in all at one time. Dribble it out! For example: I got an entire back story built for Talia, but I only let it out in drips and dribs over all of the novels with her. Plus, I’ll run a subplot that deals with something in her past that’s relevant to the current novel to help spread out the background. Keep in mind Stephen King’s quote on the subject:

“The most important things to remember about back story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn’t very interesting.”

So, don’t waste that valuable time on needless things.