Now it’s time to write Story #1.
How you go about this will depend on the type of writer you are. If you are the type who likes to plan out every detail and arrange all your scenes on index cards pinned to a corkboard, go ahead and do that. If you are a pantser, start typing.
Whichever type of writer you are, you should have a plan of the A Story arc for the series, each C Story in the series and the B Stories in the series. You should have characters in a central situation and those characters are different enough in their outlook/personalities to generate conflict.
You need to keep in mind the jobs that Story #1 needs to do. It needs to:
-introduce the main characters
-introduce their central situation
-deliver an interesting C Story
-hint at the A Story
-hint at the coming B Stories or start a B Story
-draw the reader into your fictional world and make them want to keep reading the series
How NOT To Do It
There is a tendency for writers to think something along these lines: “The readers need to be gently coaxed into the story so what better place to start than with a character waking up in the morning? I can describe her morning routine and get the reader to look forward to following her during the day ahead.”
Then the writer will start the story like this:
Alice groaned as her bedside alarm chirped like a demented cricket. She reached over and pushed the button, sighing into the silence that descended on the room. Time to get up. Time to drive across town to the inconspicuous warehouse that served as the headquarters for the Vampire Executioners. She had been a member of the group for nearly two years, after being introduced to it by her friend Enzo.
She climbed out of bed and padded to the bathroom. Standing in the scalding shower, she tenderly touched the bruises that ran along her ribs. The Executioners had tracked down a particularly nasty vamp last night and it had...
We don’t need to follow your character through every minute if the day and instead of telling us all the details, you could show us the character in action. Don’t be afraid to hit the reader with the story. You don’t need to lead them in gently. Show your character in action. Instead of telling us she’s a member of the Vampire Executioners, let us see her kill a vampire. The other details can come later.
You could start with a woman running for her life down a dark alley, pursued by two men. As she reaches a dead end and fears that the men will have their way with her, they catch up with her and she realizes they aren’t normal men at all; they’re vampires. She fears that her very soul is now endangered but there is nothing she can do as they approach...
Then a figure appears from the shadows, spinning and darting and slashing with a wicked-looking sword that glints in the moonlight. She fights the vampires and as the would-be victim watches, the supernatural creatures are beheaded by the cruel blade. The woman approaches, wiping vamp blood from her sword. She says he name is Alice...
* * *
Don’t be afraid to reveal details gradually. You don’t need to smother the reader with a huge infodump. If you’re story is interesting, the reader will stick with you and let you tell it at your own pace. Hold some things back for later episodes. Don’t reveal your hand too soon.
Think about some of your favourite shows. How did the pilot episode start? With someone waking up in the morning and brushing their teeth, or with action and a character in motion?
Think about your main characters. What is it that they do? Show them doing that thing.
Whether you plan out every scene before you write or just go for it and see what happens (guided by your story arc plans and central situation), you should be able to produce a story that opens your series with a bang and makes the readers want to enter your fictional world and follow your characters through their trials and tribulations.