Placement info

So I’ve been stuck on the first scene of my game for a while and I was thinking of how to approach it. I have two different versions, one is in medias res, which I fairly like, but I can’t tell if it starts too abrupt yk? I’ve seen people do placement and time info at the top of a scene before and I was thinking maybe that small detail could pace my first scene in a good way that won’t change what I’ve written at all.

/somewhere downtown, 23:15/

Blah blah story body text…

But do people like that, or does it make the story feel too much like a game? If you have any other suggestions please share thank you :))

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Imo, don’t worry too much about the first scene, and the first chapter, just do them and keep going, you’ll probably learn how to improve them as you write the rest of your book.

On the other hand, it depends, how important is for the reader to know the exact place and time as the first line of what they’re reading?


Yea I get that I should just get to actually writing the story
I can just yolo and skip the whole thing, I know, but I’m not good at that.

The first scene is really rather vague, so I don’t know if the reader would benefit from having some small idea of where they are

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AM or PM?

That would indicate the time of day and add to the atmosphere.

You can put that there, it add that little something to the story. No different than peoples adding Quotes from know writers (Or authors) or even from their characters saying up there.

Although if I remember in movies, it’s often:

Somewhere Downtown, 23:15 PM

Or just:

- Downtown 23:15 PM (or 11:15 PM)

But @Loudbeat is right, pick how you want it and move on. Don’t let that paralyze you in a spiral where you get stuck overthinking it. Keep going… :+1:

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True but you don’t use am and pm in 24hr clocks

ay I’ll just figure it out along the way like you said :)) I realise now I’m way too stuck on the little details

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That’s what you should know, it’s your story, what difference it makes that particular place at that particular time, what’s the difference if let’s say instead it is tuesday 5am, or sunday november whatever? does that place and time mean something later on? if it doesn’t matter that much maybe you can just comment it shortly later. Unless you use that style to start every chapter as a kind of marker or something.

It also depends on the mood, theme, and pace you want to set on your story, and if you want to try to catch the readers on the first line or on the 3rd chapter… there’s a lot to take into account, so as I said, just don’t bang your head on it now, cause you’ll probably change it later anyway.


Totally agree, thank you for the advice. I’ll probably know what my story needs when I’ve written a good chunk of it and know what parts are consistent and which are individual for a few particular scenes

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Eh, unless there’s some super important significance to the exact time and place for the opening scene, I’d leave it out. Focus on the MC, what their experience is right now. If it’s nighttime, describe the nighttime scene. If it’s a particular era, or other distinctive time and place, try to describe it atmospherically.

Your MC’s experience will be very different on a Soviet nuclear submarine in the spring of 1980 than in the streets of Shanghai in 1922, or in a bronze age settlement in Asia Minor. Get into the sights, smells, and sounds of what the MC is experiencing to help patch us into their body and their life.

Even Agatha Christie books will usually be a little subtle about it. “A rooster crows” or “the clock chimes twice” or “the butler bids farewell, suitcase in hand, and explains that he’s leaving on holiday from Christmas Eve til New Years Day.”

There are better ways of establishing time and place than just a dateline, in my opinion.


You’re very right. I think I’ll drop hints and clues of the setting through a conversation going on and inner dialogue, as I don’t like having whole paragraphs only for describing the atmosphere, saying how pretty that tree over there is. The narrative is sorta like a stream of mc’s conscience, and so what I choose to go into detail with also has to correspond to what mc is focusing their attention on. Kinda weird to be fixated on the colour of a leaf when the biggest plot twist of your life has just happened :))

Thank you for your input and I’ll look up Agatha Christie, cause I don’t know who that is :,)

Agatha christie is know for her books related to crimes. If you ever heard of ‘Hercule Poirot’? Then that is one of her famous character. Some of her books were made in movies, and even video games.

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Thanks for linking! I mention her because many of her mysteries are almost set up like puzzles to solve. Precise times, places, and chains of events are important to her who-done-it stories, and even she finds a way to fold it into the lived (or murdered, as the case may be) experience of a place.