Story Starters?

So you’ve completed your manuscript. Now it’s time to perfect an opening.

What advice or tips do you have for story starters? What do you do when writing the opening pages?

We all learn as writers, the first 5-10…even 50 pages of the manuscript is crucial. What tips do you have to make sure it starts with a bang to keep them interested from page one??


4 thoughts on “Story Starters?

  1. I always start crazy unexpectedly. Like, my current brainchild starts with the line “Why is there a fish in the bathtub?” and will manage to pull in the mafia, Irishmen that tan, a family feud, and pancakes-in-a-box. I may not finish it, but it will certainly have MY attention for the first ten pages. 😛 That’s the way it usually is with me. I’m bursting with ideas and can write the first few chapters. After that, I just kinda fizzle out. It’s the FINISHING SOMETHING that causes trouble for me.

  2. Generally, I don’t sweat getting the start of a novel right until the first draft is completed. Then I look to see if I started the story in the right place – sometimes the start is actually my brain gearing up to write the story, rather than the right place for the reader to enter it.

    For YA writing, one good piece of advice I heard was to start the book 2 chapters after you started in the first draft. I like that…

    As for short stories and flash fiction (under 1000 words) I try and start with something punchy, bizarre or dramatic. I write my short stories to prompts sent in by readers, and the one I choose often create a question in the reader’s mind – that’s the hook to keep people reading.

  3. I usually write about 50 pages and then figure out where the story should really start…but I wouldn’t actually recommend that method to others! 🙂 If I know a fight scene/explosion is going to occur I just start there and see if I can make it work.

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