I received a link to an article titled “How to Start a Story: 9 Tips from Our Editors” from Reedsy. Naturally, I was interested, and I think it’s worth a visit.
Their 9 tips are:
- Start with the unexpected—good examples, and a good idea. Avoiding the ordinary helps you clear an agent hurdle.
- Start with an image—I’ll buy this one, too. It can be a character or setting, and it can ground us in “seeing” the story right away. Avoids the musing problem, too.
- Start with action—you’ve heard this from me more than once.
- Start with brevity—yep. I edit to make a narrative crisper, and brevity helps avoid the curse of overwriting.
- Start with a question—how many times have you read here to start with a story question?
- Start by appealing to curiosity—seems to me that this is the same as starting with a question, and their examples show that. Should have been part of number 5.
- Start with an understanding of your fictional world—an opening can indeed give you a sense of what I’ll call the reality of a story’s world.
- Start with something new—their example shows how to twist the ordinary into something fresh, and reminds you of the clichés to avoid.
- Start with intensity—and they don’t mean just heavy action, there are other ways to create intensity.
Were I you, I’d give it a read. Might spark some thoughts in you. Note: the image is from the Reedsy article.
For what it’s worth,
© 2017 Ray Rhamey
My books. You can read sample chapters and learn more about the books here.
Writing Craft Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling
Fantasy (satire) The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles
Mystery (coming of age) The Summer Boy
Science Fiction Hiding Magic
Science Fiction Gundown Free ebooks.