I’ve had an epiphany. I’ve been struggling slightly to get Animus off the ground, having started right in at the action, and I’ve figured out what I’m doing wrong. Starting with action works best when the story is about action. Well, duh. But if the story is about a relationship and the development of ideals? Okay, action happens – you can’t really have a story without some – but that’s not my primary focus. I’m telling the tale of friendship and philosophy, which just happens to take place inside the structure of a war. Starting close to the action means missing out on the fundamental foundations of how both friendship and philosophy grew. That means the testing of both during the war is far less interesting or emotional than if you’ve seen what it took to create them in the first place.
So, back to basics. Once again, I’m ignoring the advice that a book should start close to the action. It seems that’s just not the way I write. Chapter 1 is the day the protagonists meet, not the day they start to fall out.