BOY HAS ALREADY MET GIRL material on website including full text novels (fantasy, SF and military SF), short stories (horror, fantasy and SF), writing advice, autobiographical material and blog entries on eg Islam. Site also includes full text of medical memoir CANCER PATIENT. This website by professional author Hugh Cook, aka Hugh Walter Gilbert Cook, author of the CHRONICLES OF AN AGE OF DARKNESS etc. Site also includes poetry and flash fiction. This site features BOY HAS ALREADY MET GIRL material about the art of writing: plotting, getting characters to act, proofreading and editing. Concise how-to-write advice by an expert. Read free online.



Advice on elements of writing, including plot, some mechanical issues and the business of proofreading and editing. A compact guide to the art of writing fiction.

This section on BOY HAS ALREADY MET GIRL is incorporated in the literary miscellany THIS IS A PICTURE OF YOUR GOD: A HUGH COOK READER.

        You want to set up a boy meets girl situation and the problem is this: how do they meet? How do you handle the introduction scene?
        Well, that's over to you. Do it your way, if you really want to. However, there's no necessity to write a boy-meets-girl scene, unless for some reason this happens to be your big literary ambition.
        The simple option is to start at a point where boy has already met girl. Maybe the next move is going to be the murder, the birth of the first child, the house fire or the divorce party. Boy has met girl and it's their twenty-fifty date (one of them has been keeping track of the arithmetic, but the other has not ... and why is this, you might ask?)
        Or you can start here:
        Boy (or girl) is at the wheel of the car, and the sirens are approaching, and is the person beside him still breathing?
        Or here:
        Boy and girl, having met and married and then divorced and then remarried again are wondering whether remarriage was a mistake and whether they should get divorced again.

Two Points

        (i) If the story is about the car crash, or the infidelity, or the earthquake, or the divorce, or the mother in law, then why worry about the boy meets girl part? Maybe you can just cut it.
        (ii) If you can't figure out how to handle something, then just leave it out. For example, your story requires boy to meet girl at a party, but you can't figure out how to do this. So you show boy (or girl) heading off to the party and then show the same person after the party.
        Questioner: "So how did it go?"
        Protagonist: "Not bad ..."
        Half an hour later, Protagonist was asleep in his / her bed, dreaming of the boy / girl that he / she had met at the party. When he / she woke up in the morning, the phone was ringing.
        He / she answered the phone.
        "I'm going to be stuck in Toronto for another two days."
        Toronto. What country was that? Mexico? No ... Mexico wasn't the answer.

Key Point

        It would be nice for our story to have forward momentum, and a simple way to  develop forward momentum is to assume that all the necesary foundation work (boy meets girl, for example) has already been done.
        There is no need for boy to meet girl because it is just as simple for boy to have already met girl.

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