Okay, this is up for discussion!
In introducing a main character--what do you think about that character appearing before interaction with the "hero"?
In many of Ruth Rendell's thrillers (without Wexford say) , she tends to do this and I like it. I like wondering when the character is going to pop up and what effects it will have on the storyline. I think it may create more tension.
Having said that, what do you think of the character being introduced to the reader and to the hero at the same time?
btw this is written in the third person. Am onto final draft (hopefully) so I am playing around with some chapters.
Your opinions, readers and writers, please?

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I think it all depends on the story and how you want to tell it. Should the reader know things the hero doesn't know? Do you want to ue some legitimate misdirection? I'm having a little bit of the same issue myself with a WNYIP. (Work Not Yet In Progress, largely because of this.) Your story is unique, and you'll have to find what works best. The good news (I think) is that any number of ways could work.

Who would have thought you could show the crime, hold off introducing the hero until halfway in, and still make it work, until COLUMBO came along?
very good.
I like that about holding back information. I think that might benefit my story. Going to try it that way.
And yes, there are a number of ways I suppose it could work.
Not that kind of Detective story though. although the killer is shown right away (more or less)--he's not really identified until later on. I want to show him fully. the whys are so important to me.
Thanks Dana, because I really like what you said about holding info back!
Who would have thought you could show the crime, hold off introducing the hero until halfway in, and still make it work, until COLUMBO came along?

ISTR that P.D. James did this in at least one book. She showed all the tensions and interactions between the victim and the suspects, including the motives the suspects had for the killing (and most of them did, because the victim was a real toad). Dalgleish didn't make an appearance until after the killing which was about a third of the way through the book.
oh don't think I replied to this post of yours, sorry.
I happen to like when it's done like that. Showing the reader the full picture.
Ruth Rendell does that too, and I love it. I enjoy knowing about the characters and wondering what they're going to do next.
I think it gives the story a reality that I find engrossing and thought provoking.
Thanks for that!
I tend to think in dramatic scenes. Frequently that scene involves characters other than my protagonist, whose job it will be later to figure out hat happened. I should add that I don't do the Columbo bit of showing the villain commit the crime. I may start with the crime, but the villain is not identified. On the other hand, I sometimes just start with the protagonist chatting with his wife, and the crimes happen later.

The situation you ask about involves POV. The author decides whether the incident is best seen through the protagonist's eyes, or through another character's.
Yes, I also have written in dramatic scenes--I agree with that. not indentifying the villain, I agree too. As for the pov, well--this same story (basically) I've already done two drafts of--and in those drafts I've found that so much can be told through the different pov's--I don't hopefully hop around too much--must pov's are the main characters. Thank you I.J.
Nora Roberts is not considered a crime writer but she definitely has criminals within her material. I like how she shows the murder usually in a prologue, then shows the hero and heroine and then the criminal mind shows up --
You'll see him/her re-appear in the town from the prologue and hear and see his side of things... makes for a good creepy way to go.

hope my trying to explain it makes sense... I'm very tired right now.

Deirdre
Deirdre, thanks for answering when you were tired! And yes, I do understand your point. I used to read a lot of Nora Roberts. I know what you mean. I don't have a prologue, but he does committ the crime early on-only he's not identified. he does pop up later within his own setting and it's pretty obvious this guy has some problems--although not too obvious. the why of his hatred is only revealed much later.
I thank you.

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