One thing I struggle with as an author is the opening. How can I pull my reader into the story and keep them interested. It’s a sad fact that if your opening is not interesting most readers will not continue with the story. So what’s a writer to do?
I found a great post by author Jody Hedlund that discussed this very issue. Jody offers three things to consider for opening your story:
1. Find a life-changing DISTURBANCE.
Look for an incident that will push your character out of their comfortable life into a new problem or situation that will ultimately change their life.
2. Start with immediate TENSION and CONFLICT.
Drop our characters onto the page into the middle of immediate conflict and assume the reader will catch on to what’s going on eventually. You can always go back and weave in important story details later if needed.
3. Use a PROLOGUE sparingly.
Most readers (including agents and editors) don’t want to wade through a prologue (which is often just an excuse to fit in backstory).
If I have a scene that needs to happen before the big disturbance moment, label it as Chapter One and treat it just like a regular chapter, giving it a strong opening hook, immediate conflict, and the same page-turning quality I would with any other chapter.
So I turn this back to my readers. Do you have any great tips for beginning a story? I’d love to hear them.
Writing on the Sidewalk