Best Ways To Start A Story

Best Ways To Start A Story – How to start a story | From The World’s Favorite Creative Writing School Posted on 17 Jul 2022

For many writers, the question of how to start a story is one of the most dreaded things. Whether you know a lot or a little about your character, world, and events, starting a story can feel like a daunting task.

Best Ways To Start A Story

Best Ways To Start A Story

How do you begin your story in a way that engages readers—and literary experts—but leaves them wanting more? How can you set up your world and its ships without showing too much?

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This guide unlocks the riddle behind the big question of how to start a story. We’re sharing top tips from The Novelry’s team of writers and editors, million-copy publishers and publishing professionals who know exactly how to start a novel.

Whether you’re creating a great idea or you’re at your wits end and want to nail the opening, you’ve come to the right place. And if you really want to become an expert in any aspect of starting a story, you’ll find plenty of resources to explore along the way.

Before we dive into the details, it’s worth pausing to remember why such an in-depth guide is necessary for what may be only a small portion of your book. Does the first paragraph, the first page, or even the first chapter really matter?

How you start your story will decide whether the reader will stick with you or not. It should tell them what to expect in tone and plot, and leave them in doubt as to why they should care about what happens next.

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Your first chapter should also assure the reader that something will happen, and that your hero will be interesting to follow.

Literary agents and publishers often ask for the first three chapters in a submission (but please check their specific guidelines first, as this may vary). They often judge your book and your writing voice from the first sentence.

Of course, the pitch or hook for your book, and your cover letter, are also important (and Novelry can help with both!), but the opening of the book is just as important.

Best Ways To Start A Story

This is your chance to make your voice heard, and justify your story. As award-winning author Louise Doughty told us during her live session with The Novelry:

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When it comes to sending your work to agents, publishers etc., knowingly or unknowingly, they will definitely make a decision by the end of the first page – if not before… The truth is ‘first impressions are everything” . -Louise Doughty When you write your first story

By the time you’ve written the beginning of your final article, you’ll probably have prepared a first draft. Writing a story is not a linear, step-by-step process!

For those just starting out, this should take some of the pressure off. Start with yourself and you’ll be able to revisit your opening when you know your character’s breakdowns and plot, and the nooks and crannies where tension and excitement arise.

So if you’re reading this and you’re about to start a writing career, by all means read on! But be sure to revisit this page and all related resources when you come—as you will—to fix your opening.

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When you are preparing to write your opening for the first time, you need to be clear about the main points of your book.

And if you’ve finished your first draft and are looking to improve your opening or first line, check to see if the answers to these questions are here—even if they’re blue at the bottom.

You can also see if your initial answers to these questions are still satisfactory based on how you move the story forward. Rethinking some of these can not only give you the start you’re looking for, but actually change your story entirely.

Best Ways To Start A Story

If you want to start your stories in a way that is relevant to readers, this checklist is a good place to start.

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With some of these tools (and remember these are not ‘rules’ – you won’t need any of these for your opening!), you can turn your opening into something amazing.

By the time the reader finishes your first chapter, there should be a question they want answered. It may seem a bit obvious, but it doesn’t have to be!

The perfect balance between confusion, mystery and enlightenment… It’s the thread, this first chapter. You want the reader to be captivated by the mystery, but not consumed by the fear of confusion, so be a little light as you go – a flashlight on the wall or on the floor, just enough to keep him going. not for that. cross themselves on the stalagmite. – Chuck Wendig

Whatever your real question is, it should be something that we can only solve by reading about it – and that makes the reading more bearable.

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That is why it is important to have great news seats. They don’t just sharpen your first few lines, they guide your entire story!

It’s usually best to introduce your protagonist at the beginning of your first chapter, rather than doing a lot of world-building. Your reader wants someone to engage with, so if none of your main themes are strong in the first chapter, it may be difficult to hold the reader’s interest.

Remember: it doesn’t have to mean introducing your main character/hero right away! Readers often like a compelling bad guy, so if you think introducing us to your antagonist would work better, why not try writing your opening that way?

Best Ways To Start A Story

Again, this is not a hard and fast process. Starting with someone on the circuit can be overwhelming. But if you feel like the opening is backwards, or doesn’t fit the rest of the story, this might be an interesting part to play with.

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It’s possible that your character doesn’t know what they need, or maybe even what they want. Or maybe what they want is not what they need…

Whatever it is, there must be a compulsion or desire, or something they lack, to guide their actions in the novel. It’s also probably the cornerstone of her character development. Give us some insight into what it is, and other obstacles that stand in their way.

Stocks can mean different things for different stories in different categories. He doesn’t have to be a fast car racer or an ax killer!

But every good story starts when something changes, or is about to happen. We begin when a disruption (or rupture) in our daily lives sets us on a new path.

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Setting the stage when you start your story can feel like a balancing act. You need to create a clear, enveloping world, but you don’t want to test the reader’s patience.

We don’t need to know the situation unless it helps the situation; so, even if it’s a hot summer day, it can be a way to give the reader confidence that the temperature is up! Learn how to organize the setting information not only with details, but also to give a little something different to your story, for example in the famous novel by George Orwell, the year nineteen eighty-four contains a kind of bright winter which we can expect in it. every April, but in this case, the clocks are amazingly thirteen.

Here it also helps with a strong character. Instead of telling us everything about the setting in the opening scene, why not focus on what is important to the character?

Best Ways To Start A Story

It’s also good to think about how the scene itself can handle the action and plot. In fact, many writers (including many of the wonderful writing coaches at The Novelry!) find inspiration for their stories in a setting.

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Your opening is your presentation – a business card of sorts. And just like meeting new friends or going on a first date, you don’t want to give a false first impression or set unrealistic expectations.

Conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you wouldn’t want to use a picture of a woman embalming a man in an inflatable boat for a 1930s murder mystery story. sweet. This is going to be confusing!

Of course you may surprise the reader. But in general – and especially for a new story – it may be wise to stick to the style you’ve chosen and the tone you’ve set (preferably from the first sentence) in your story.

It can be a surprise to the reader when a sad, sad, social commentary turns into an interesting and exciting trip in Europe, for example.

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That being said, you don’t want to make your opening sentence too boring for fear of straying from your chosen direction. That the opening sentence places the reader in a ‘dark and stormy night’ may have once been effective, but it is well played out.

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