By Sophie Nadel, Writer’s Tips Editor
So, you want to write a story. No, more than that — you are ready to write it. You have your characters, your conflict, and your plot all planned out. You open your notebook to a gleaming new page, freshly sharpened pencil just an inch away from those college rule lines streaking horizontally across the sheet, and…
Nothing happens. You have great ideas, so many stories just bursting from your brain, waiting to be told, but your pencil will not brush the paper. You want a powerful beginning that grips the reader and introduces your story, and you don’t know where to start. This is a problem that plagues writers everywhere.
The beginning of a piece is without a doubt one of its most important components. If you’re stuck on how to begin, try some of these tips that will get you started in no time!
Dialogue is just one of the many ways to begin your story with a fascinating flourish. Start the narration with interaction between two characters. The dialogue can take many forms. For example, it may a conversation that sets the mood of the plot, such as, “Did you hear about the fire on Elmoak street?” It may take the form of a command, establishing character personality, like, “Clean your room!” You could even open a story in the middle of a conversation, dropping your reader directly into the heart of the action (“-and that’s when I realized I forgot my pencil!”).
Start in the Middle
Who says that the first thing you write has to be the beginning? Writing the most exciting scenes first will help keep that pesky writer’s block at bay. This way, your enthusiasm really shines and you can fill in the less thrilling gaps in the story, like the beginning, when you have a better sense of what your story will look like. Fill it in, that is, if you choose to do so. You might decide to leave the beginning of the story where you started writing, directly in the center of the action. If it was more fun for you to write, then chances are it will be more fun to read, which will grab the reader’s attention. There’s nothing wrong with making your middle the beginning, if you so
Describe the setting
One great way to establish the mood of your story better is to describe the setting. Where does the beginning of the story take place? What is the weather like? What time is it? Establishing all of these aspects sets your writing up for success as it paints a clear backdrop for the story’s events in your reader’s mind.
Starting your story shouldn’t be something to be afraid of. You have lots of options to choose from. No matter how you choose to open it, I have faith that your story will find a way to absorb your reader! Good luck, and may your holidays be filled with an abundance of writing!