Good Ways To Start Off A Story – The first lines are sufficient in themselves when a work has already received great recognition. Your first line can’t do much: it won’t make your book sell like Tolstoy’s. So how important is it to write your opening line and make it memorable?
Your push button won’t propel you to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list, but it will get people to do the one thing you need them to do: read your book!
- 1 Good Ways To Start Off A Story
- 2 Instructions To Survey Participants.
- 3 Chatgpt Can’t Kill Anything Worth Preserving
Good Ways To Start Off A Story
People enjoy books best when they are invested, engaged, and interested from the start. No one wants to work on “getting” into a story. You also really don’t want people to feel “meh” after the first couple of pages and return to the Kindle home screen to try another sample.
Instructions To Survey Participants.
So if you think you have an amazing story that you want people to read, you need to spend some time thinking about how to make sure people will want to read it. In an interview with The Atlantic, Stephen King talked about spending months, even years, writing the first lines of a new book (you might be able to cut that time down, though…)!
The way you write your opening line won’t make your book more important. But it may be the most important line in the book.
There are as many ways to open a story as there are stories, but I’ve listed nine different techniques here for you as examples.
Sometimes the opening line is an introduction to what the book will look like, how it will read, and how it will tell you the story. This is a great way to write your opening line because your reader will get a quick overview of the rest of the book and make a direct connection right from the start.
When It’s Bad It’s Repetitive But When It’s Good It’s So Good (sillytavern, Poe/sage)
Is there a voice louder than imagination?! You know you’re in for a ride even with those first nine words. You may not expect the horror that unfolds, but the intense turmoil that hits you between the eyes defines the story, and you get it from the first line.
If you really want to know more, the first thing you probably want to know is where I was born, and how boring my childhood was, and how busy my parents were and everything before they had me , and everything David Copperfield is bad. , but I don’t want to go into details, if you want to know the truth.
If you want to write verbally or informally, it’s a good idea to start with a good example of this style. People will sit with you while you tell a story as if they were in your living room.
It is a universally accepted truth that a lucky single man must have a wife. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Dear Writer, Start With A Short Story
Your topic will usually be revealed in your opening paragraph anyway, but it’s also a great choice for how to write your opening line.
When I was young, my father gave me advice that I still carry with me today. Whenever you feel like criticizing someone, he told me, remember that not everyone in this world enjoys the same advantages as you. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
This is perhaps the most popular and effective technique: keep your reader interested and they won’t be able to help but keep reading.
I was born twice: first, as a little girl, on a smoke-free day in Detroit, in January 1960; then again, as a teenager, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August 1974. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
The Two Parent Privilege: How Americans Stopped Getting Married And Started Falling Behind, Kearney
It was the day my grandmother exploded. Crow Road, Iain Banks Later, sitting on his balcony eating his dog, Dr Robert Laing reflects on the extraordinary events that have taken place in this large house over the past three months. Stand up, J.G.Ballard 4. Set the scene
Write your opening line to immerse your reader right from the start and into your world. They are in the palm of your hand.
This is not the first time controversy has erupted over breakfast at number four, Privet Drive. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, JK Rowling.
In a hole in the ground lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, damp hole full of wormholes and a bitter smell, nor a dry, bare sandbox with nothing to sit or eat in: it was a hobbit hole, and that’s what it meant comfort.The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
Chatgpt Can’t Kill Anything Worth Preserving
But be careful with this one: if you’re worldbuilding, don’t start by describing a place or climate where nothing happens, and don’t neglect introducing characters or ideas.
This example works because it presents the idea of a Hobbit and a hobbit hole that is unlike any hole you can imagine.
Captured by the dark imagination and mood of my adolescence – pretending to be someone who grew up in a clingy town with important feelings. The opening sentence does a lot to set that mood:
It was a beautiful summer, the Rosenberg summer, and I didn’t know what to do in New York. The Bell, Sylvia Plath
A Good Read
Can you catch the mood? Draw the reader’s attention to a particularly interesting scene or feeling? Is it safe? Moody? That we are not afraid? Should we panic? Cold? difficult? Let us know and you’ve already done half the work.
Is a perfect example. Love and conflict between love and conflict are all summed up in these twelve famous words.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens 6. High Stakes
Presenting high stakes is a surefire way to write your opening line to hook your reader. Charles Dickens was good at this.
Making Grading Writing Easier With Frankenstein Ed Conversational Rubrics
If I become the hero of my life, or if that position is filled by someone else, these pages should show it. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens 7. In shock, they shot the white girl first. Heaven, Toni Morrison
Shock, shock, shock, intrigue. You can’t ask too much of a writer. This may not mean you really want to read the whole book, but you definitely want to read the next sentence.
This one hits you in the gut. Not only a boy sent to the gas chamber, but the first to tell the story: “I sent a boy”. The reader listens to someone he didn’t think he was listening to.
Create an emotional connection. Either by exposing the vulnerability of the character or situation, by opening up about emotions that one can identify with, or informally, for example by being unacceptable.
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Call Me Ishmael, Moby Dick, Heman Melville In the late winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided that I was depressed, probably because I rarely left the house, spending a lot of time at read and read the same book several times. Before, I ate very little and spent my free time thinking about death. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
It’s a great opening. He’s vulnerable, approachable and also has a sense of humor, which adds to me:
Far from the unknown backwaters, at the inhospitable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy, lies a small, unremarkable yellow sun. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams I’m from Des Moines. Someone had to do it. The Lost Continent, Bill Bryson When the day you call Wednesday starts to feel like Sunday, something is seriously wrong. Triffids Day, John Wyndham It’s funny with mothers and fathers. . Even when their child has the most disgusting little bruises you can imagine, they still find it amazing. Mathilde, Roald Dahl
The opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. He should say: Listen. Come here. Want to know more.
Ways To Write Your Opening Line
If you can’t do it, then I know the competition for you! Take the day away from your actual writing by coming up with the worst possible opening sentence for a work of fiction to submit to San Jose State University’s annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, in which participants submit sentences of severe opening from non-existent works. “Chekhov’s Gun” is a defining concept, but the parts of the story must contribute to the whole. This comes from Anton Chekhov’s famous writing advice book: “If you say in the first paragraph that there is a gun hanging on the wall, the second or third paragraph should be completely absent.” If he is not sent back, he should not be hanged there.
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian doctor, writer and playwright who lived from 1860 to 1904. Chekhov is considered one of the great masters of the short story (you can read some examples of Chekhov’s best stories here). Even though Chekhov lived his life as a doctor,
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