Moving With a Monologue

Opening a story with a monologue means we’re opening the story with a character telling us something about the story whether it’s about themselves or they’re going to be telling us a story about someone else. They can be long or short, lead into speech or action, be part of a chapter or a chapter […]

Starting With Speech

Sometimes we might want to begin our story with a conversation, this can be a great way to introduce our characters and show them interacting. The most common problem with this kind of beginning is people try to make it mysterious by not including context. Several lines where we have no idea who is speaking, […]

Acting on Action

When we refer to beginning on an action note it can me action like a car chase or it can simply mean something is happening that moves the story forward quickly. For instance, in a crime novel when a detective arrives to assess the scene we don’t have action like a chase but we have […]

Too Fast/Too Slow

Beginnings are important which is part of what makes them so difficult to write. Do we want to jump right into the story? Do we want to build it up slowly? Do we introduce the main plot? The subplot? The main characters? The secondary characters? And on and on the questions go. Part of the […]

A Different Type of Beginning

This week we’re looking at different ways to begin our story. Tuesday – Too Fast/Too Slow, Do we want to jump right in or build up to the action? Wednesday – Acting on Action, Opening a story with action whether it’s a chase or just the characters doing something Thursday – Starting With Speech, Jumping […]

Finding Balance

I can’t tell you the perfect balance between description and dialogue when introducing your story, or anywhere in the story, because this varies from writer to writer. Some writers prefer dialogue heavy, others description, some are in the middle and others vary depending on what story they’re telling. When you’re writing though the question isn’t […]

Introducing a Character

When introducing a character it isn’t necessary to tell the reader everything about them in one go. Readers like to work things out for themselves, to pick out the clues and gather information as they go, which is one of the reasons crime fiction is so popular. If you’re writing a first-person story you don’t […]

Establishing the World

Now we know where we’re going to begin it can be all too easy to try and tell the reader everything about the world all at once. Too much information will slow the story down and risks boring the reader because there’s only so much information the human brain can process at once. However, it’s […]

Pontificating on Prologues

A prologue is usually assumed to be a part of the story, or something relating to the story, that happened some time before the story began. Though this is not always an event relating to the story, people have also used it for short mythological or informational pieces that relate to the story or another […]

Finding the Right Beginning

The first words you write don’t have to be the first words a reader reads. Not all writers write chronologically and even writers who do sometimes have an idea then realise that something needs to go before it. As with any other part of a first draft the beginning doesn’t have to be perfect the […]