Did you ever struggle with exactly how to start a story? Most of us have. Many experts believe the beginning of a story is by far the most vital part of creative writing. Of course, it is obviously the very first thing in which your reader will be digesting when they encounter your book or story. That fact alone makes it pretty important.
So now that we understand how important the beginning really is, that brings us back to the very first question on how to start a story. What exactly is a perfect opening?
A beginning really does need to wow your readers. So let us look at 5 ways to begin our stories
Essential Aspects on How to Start a Story
Although you really have to consider every single element of your story, there are indeed 5 specific ways to make your book shine at the beginning.
Craft the Very First Line
Spend more time than usual on that very first line. Don’t let this tip encourage writer’s block – yes, you just need to start writing. But when you come back to edit, be sure you really put some effort into your first sentence – make it pop – because you remember what they say about first impressions.
Forget About the Prologue
Everyone likes to debate about whether or not to include a prologue. Even professionals like seasoned authors and agents will put out different advice about them.
You have to realize that when many readers decide to try out your book, they most likely picked yours from a stack of others. If your book doesn’t quickly hook them, they will be reading the next book on the stack – so don’t delay beginning your story with prologue – which is what prologues often do.
Begin your Story in the Middle of Things
If you can throw your protagonist into an exciting scene, not only will it serve to excite and interest your reader, it will tickle their sense of curiosity too. Because when you start in the middle, you have bypassed many things about the characters. And if the reader really likes any of the characters, then they will hang around to find out more about them.
Do not Over Explain
All readers are guilty of doing this – especially rookie writers. Because we want our readers to fully understand what is going on – we tend to give them lots of details – but too many details will kill the story. When we over explain, it is hard not to sound like we are lecturing to our reader and they will not like that.
Get in the habit of teasing your reader a little bit by revealing information here and there throughout your book.
Always Conclude your First Chapter with a Cliffhanger
This should not be very hard to do if you started in the middle of things like we suggested earlier. The great thing would be to do this with every chapter, but you must do with the first chapter.
Not only will this keep your reader interested, but he and she will feel good about selecting a good book to read. Remember, they are most likely still trying out your book. And you also gave them a reason to tell their friends that they are “reading a really good book” – which is something people love to tell one another. And the good thing is once they have told another person this; it is almost a guarantee that they will finish your book – in case their friend asks them about the book later.