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The beginning...

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Sammo2191, May 17, 2019.

  1. Sammo2191

    Sammo2191 Acolyte

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    I think that the hardest part of writing any story is starting it. Does anyone have any tips on the best opening lines to get the readers hooked?

    The number of times that I have so many ideas all written out, and no way to start the story. I get fed up with the typical opening lines ie. It was a dark and stormy night, or The rain pelted the windows... blah blah blah...

    If anyone has any pointers, they would be greatly appreciated. :)
     
  2. martinH

    martinH Acolyte

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    Hey, I think it should reflect the story it is starting of to be. If it supposed to be and fantasy epic, you start with stuff like "at the end of the third age...", if it s action driven thing, you start in the middle of the action, obviously. So, my question is. What is the story supposed to be?
     
  3. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    Rarely do I find that the start of my work is where I thought it was. I've cut, added and rearranged entire chapters to find the right start point. Even in short stories; paragraphs get written, moved or deleted.
    I'd write the story and THEN find out where the story needs to start.
    Maybe some writers come up with a killer first line and then write the rest, but I know I can't.
     
    martinH likes this.
  4. Darkfantasy

    Darkfantasy Inkling

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    Speaking for myself, I tend to go back and revise my opening lines once the novel is complete and try to get input from others. So my opening lines are not that important to me during my first draft. My first draft is a "get it written, then get it right" kind of thing.

    If I'm really struggling to jump start my brain I find a novel that is similar to mine in tone, themes, setting, situation. It must have a good opening paragraph and I just copy it. I usually find I can carry on from that point. Then once the draft is complete and I'm really into the story and characters, I go back and write my own.
     
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I'll echo what others have said. I can pretty much guarantee that if you do manage to write the "perfect" opening, it won't wind up even being in Chapter One. So, just start the story and get the story told. Somewhere along the way, you'll figure out where the story needs to start and *then* you can polish those opening lines.

    To paraphrase Mark Twain, it's easy to write beginnings. I've written hundreds.
    But I've only used five.
     
    martinH likes this.
  6. Helen

    Helen Inkling

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    It's not the line, but the point of the first lines and paragraphs.

    Generally, you're going to have character change so you start at the character's beginning state. But it's not as simple as that, for example you might start at the character becoming damaged and then work your round to healing.

    In other words, it kinda helps to know the point of each section and where you're going to go. But you may not know that until a few drafts in.
     
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