Six Characters in Search of an Author, is a play in three acts by Luigi Pirandello, using the device of the “theatre within the theatre,” the play explores various levels of illusion and reality.
I saw this play once and it began with workers putting final touches to the theatre set. They were in a panic to get it ready for the play and asked the audience for some help. The audience soon discovered that they were part of the play. Pirandello’s device is very clever and it has a lesson for authors—you need to introduce your characters from the get—go! My first manuscript for book #2 fell into this trap. While focusing on a setting builder in Chapter 1, I had left out the main characters until Chapter 2. This left the reader guessing where the protagonist, antagonist were. This begs the question—do all successful books require the main characters to appear in the opening chapter?
The bible is regarded as one of the most read and most important books of all time. In it, the first chapter—Genesis—describes the main actors (God, Adam and Eve, etc. appearing on the stage (the earth). So, take it from the top; don’t forget to put your main character(s) in the first chapter!