Starting with a Dateline

Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
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Starting with a Dateline

Postby MiloMinderbinder » Fri May 31, 2019 6:58 am

What are people's opinion of the use of a dateline to start a story?

Johnson City
Wyoming Territory

Do you think that's lazy? Or is it a legitimate way of setting the scene?

We're trying so hard to start the story with some action, getting the reader to care about the MC, create some stakes, etc. It's one less thing to cram in the beginning.

Musk Mars Colony #3
November 48, 2039

And a quick and dirty way to let your reader know up front the story is alternate history:
Republic of Texas
March 2, 1936
The trend: R, R, HM, SF, HM, HM, HM, HM
The Bicycle Thief - 2019 Derringer Award Winner
The Case of the Missing Physicist in Crime Travel

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Re: Starting with a Dateline

Postby czing » Fri May 31, 2019 7:12 am

As a reader I have absolutely no problem with it. It sets the stage easily and quickly.
HM - Q1,Q3 v 36
R - Q4 v 36

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Re: Starting with a Dateline

Postby TimE » Fri May 31, 2019 7:38 am

Doesn't bend my mind. (ie. I'm happy with it.) It's succinct.
5*R 3*HM - I thought I was getting closer, but perhaps not.
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Re: Starting with a Dateline

Postby JVAshley » Fri May 31, 2019 4:22 pm

I have read several stories that used this technique. It is common enough and useful enough that I consider it a tool, not a lazy gimmick. But I do not know if WotF judges have different views.
1x SF
3x HM
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