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  1. #11
    I write whatever the starting point is. A location, a character saying something, a piece of fruit, whatever. I'm not compelled to put something attention-grabbing as my opener just to make the reader find out why I started off like that. I'm not jumping through flaming hoops just to make the reader do the same. If they want to read the story, they'll read the story, and if they don't, then they won't.

    "W'soran awoke slowly, reluctantly."

    That's an incredibly generic and boring action, and it is the first thing Josh Reynolds has in the book Master of Death. As far as getting a reader's attention with something that makes then want to read more, it really doesn't do any sort of "good" job. If the author chooses to start with the protagonist waking up, just four simple words, then why should you bother reading anything else he's written in his "story"?

    How about the fact that the rest of the story is, in fact, pretty damn good?

    You don't need your first line to kick ass and take names. If the overall story is good, then that's what matter.
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  2. #12
    Junior FluffyMuffins230's Avatar
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    It's a bad habit of mine though but a lot of times I start by saying the name of the main character first, or that I say what the weather was and where my character is located currently, and then I begin the interaction if there are any in my story.

  3. #13
    I didn't expect this to get to two pages.

    Anyway, those are all interesting takes on how to start. One of my biggest problems is just getting that first sentence on paper. I do want my story to grab attention but I also don't want to give away too much in the beginning, about the main character or any other character. I want my story to be something people really get into when they read it (and maybe even ask when I'll update XD; that's only a dream though). It's a very long story so I know I'm going to have quite a time keeping interests of other people.

    I'll try out some of those and see if I come up with anything.
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  4.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #14
    Retired Staff Frank LeRenard's Avatar
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    Just don't start with the character waking up and then going through a morning routine. You will lose ~78% of readers instantly that way. Or at least you should.

    No, really... just start with something interesting. All you need to do is get the reader to go, `Oh, hm, what's going on here?' In other words, make them curious enough to keep reading. Rule of thumb in that regard is to not start at the beginning, but there are many ways to accomplish it regardless. Interest is the key word.

  5. #15
    The story begins with an idea.
    Usually it's something like, "I want to work with a ton of personification in a really cool foresty scene with this sort of mood!"

    Then I write a sentence. That sentence becomes a paragraph.
    At this point I decide whether or not the story is worth it.

    If I feel it is worth continuing, I scrawl out a bit of a plan, write, solidify my ending in a really rough idea, then write.

    ^ that's for short stories, though. Relevant to me because I write a lot of flash-fiction and other shorts.
    But yeah... how I write short stories :D

  6. #16
    Senior Torrijos_sama's Avatar
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    I typically start with something partially related to the rest of the story, and narrate it in first person. Often times, this is the internal monologue of the narrator, or an observation that leads into a detailed explanation of the surroundings.

    If it is narrated in the third person, I typically start with an exchange between two characters to build both of their characters, and to basically get much of the transgressive stuff out there so that people aren't weirded out by the story.

    If it's simply narration, as a few of my short stories have been, it is typically narration of events in the third person where the narrator eventually reveals themselves to be an active part of the events being narrated, either through experience with the events or through being a witness to everything.

    The purpose of the beginning of a story is to always entice the reader into something, and it's best to either catch them off guard, or set them into a state of mind for the rest of the story, though you'd preferably do both at the same time.

    I read alot of average stories growing up, and when I hit adolescence and started reading every controversial or strange book I could get my hands on, I was mindblown by the subject matter. I read The Stranger by Albert Camus around the age of 12, and was blown away by how simple the start of the novella was. "MOTHER died today. Or, maybe, yesterday;
    I canít be sure. The telegram from the Home says: YOUR MOTHER PASSED AWAY. FUNERAL TOMORROW. DEEP SYMPATHY. Which leaves the matter doubtful; it could have been yesterday. "

    Which in of itself immediately sets the stage of the novel through letting one know what attitude Mersault has towards most of life, including his own take on the funeral of his mother, where it turns out he has nothing but complaints.

    The opening pages of Catcher in the Rye do the same thing, which made them take completely different routes from most novels of the time.

  7. #17
    I really appreciate all these ideas. I did manage to start one of my stories from some of the advice I received here. I didn't get far but I got passed the starting paragraph which is the most difficult part of the entire thing. Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions!

    Keep it coming, maybe it'll help me start other stories I've been meaning to write. I have all the plans for them, it's just those damn starting paragraphs.
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  8. #18
    Regular Art Vulpine's Avatar
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    I hardly ever have an entire story in my mind when I sit down to write. Instead I start with an idea and go from there. Granted that your opening may be drastically different when all is said and done, but stories do evolve over time.
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  9. #19
    I usually come up with the story idea first. The very general idea. I never write it down, I just think about the characters which would be involved in the story. I pick their ages and names. Afterwards I choose a conflict that lets them meet. From there I just write without brainstorming.

  10. #20
    Actually, spring-boarding here.

    How does one start a comic?

 

 

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