World, Writing, Wealth discussion

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All Things Writing & Publishing > What's for a starter?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13075 comments When you plan something epic or not so long, it needs to start from something. Maybe a little daunting moment - this staring at an empty computer screen, realizing that you want to put 100K words there, for example.
But how do you start? Do you think of some catchy, immediately engaging sentence or maybe just start with the narrative, bearing in mind that you'll relocate your best scene into the beginning later? Uncork some liquor for courage? Anything else?


message 2: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9212 comments I start by imagining a scene or incident that will set up whatever I am trying to say later on. Which I suppose means I have to think up a plan for writing before I start writing.


message 3: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) sometimes it's a real incident like a minor traffic accident where the woman was so happy that I decided it was too minor to report that she hugged me three times. that scene--and in fact its entire raison d'etre--was deleted from the final one I submitted to a short fiction venue.

other times, I'm inspired by another story, movie, anime (which has a lot of supernatural/superpowered magical girls falling out of the sky or flying--and which I've coopted to some degree)

another time, i decided to write a zombie short b/c a couple of friends were diehard "Walking Dead" fans.


message 4: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13075 comments A captivating first sentence/paragraph, anyone?


message 5: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2101 comments Don't know about that, but I came across a suggestion a few years back never to start a story with the word "the." It is the most boring word in the English language aets a tone for your reader you don't want to set.


message 6: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments Once upon a time.... :D


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9212 comments It was a dark and stormy night . . . ?


message 8: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) lol.

first sentence is over-rated. by the time the reader has decided to read the sample (on amazon) or the crack the book cover at the store, then they've committed to at least the first page if not for several pages.

how about title and first paragraph from a first draft? ^_-


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9212 comments OK, I can't resist this, sorry everyone. I shall try one of my first sentences:

Pallas Athene was in disgrace, but she felt that it was worth every gram of it for she had immortalized herself, starting over three thousand years before she was born.


message 10: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Ian wrote: "OK, I can't resist this, sorry everyone. I shall try one of my first sentences:

Pallas Athene was in disgrace, but she felt that it was worth every gram of it for she had immortalized herself, sta..."


well-done!


message 11: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) but wait, where's the rest? i can't get into it now. ^_^


message 12: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9212 comments Alex G wrote: "but wait, where's the rest? i can't get into it now. ^_^"

The rest "Athene's Prophecy".


message 13: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) I'm the same as a few respondents here. I go with a scene that I visualized, which usually happens naturally after I've felt inspired by a particular idea. It's just a matter of trying to get your imagination to summon up how such a thing would look, in your mind, and then pouring it out :)


message 14: by Nik (last edited May 20, 2017 11:31PM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 13075 comments Tim wrote: "Once upon a time.... :D"

... president P helped president T... -:)
That's for fiction at this stage -:)


message 15: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin When I start writing a novel, I always have done first some extensive research to document historical facts, find data and maps and paint the historical characters, if any, to go in the novel. As for the first sentences, they usually start describing the main character and the situation he/she is into at the start of the story. Once, for a space opera type novel, it started with my heroine attending a last will reading at a notary's office on Callisto (moon of Jupiter), where she learns that her uncle just gave her his ship, a giant cargo ship. From there, many adventures in space followed.


message 16: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 353 comments Perhaps; 'If you are reading this, there must be some mistake'?

Somewhere in passing, I mentioned that it is a good idea to go back and write the beginning of a book when it is finished. The beginning is usually weaker than the rest because one improves as one gets going and into the characters.


message 17: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9212 comments I agree with P.K. My beginnings are the most revised of any part of the book.


message 18: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) i agree too. many of my opening scenes don't even make it into later drafts, not to mention the penultimate one, that is, in my short stories.


message 19: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "Tim wrote: "Once upon a time.... :D"

... president P helped president T... -:)
That's for fiction at this stage -:)"


You just gotta drag that into this, don't you :) Oh, and its filed under non-fiction, and bestseller too ;)


message 20: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13075 comments Yeah, silly of me, as Tim jumped on the opportunity to offer a porn/fantasy scenario under the noble guise of a romcom-:)
Had no choice but to delete bearing in mind possible underage audience


message 21: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13075 comments Any fresh ideas maybe? -:)


message 22: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5181 comments I don't expect a great opening sentence every time I read a book, but it does help if the first couple of pages make me want to read more. I'll even give a book 50 pages or so but, after that, if I'm not interested, I'll probably stop reading. I'd agree with maybe going back to the opening once the book is finished and making sure it draws readers in.


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