Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ten ways to start a story

1. Character portrayal --Example from Shaded Light by N.J. Lindquist

"You self-righteous liar! But then you never think of anyone but yourself!" As Peter Martin stepped into the front hallway of his penthouse, etc. (This story starter also uses conversation & setting.)

2. Conflict --Example from Thomas' Snowsuit by Robert Munsch

One day Thomas' mother bought him a nice new brown snowsuit. When Thomas saw that snowsuit he said, "That is the ugliest thing I have ever seen in my life." (This story starter also uses conversation, emotions, & humor.)

3. Problem --Example from The Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett

The last camel collapsed at noon. It was the five-year-old white bull he had bought in Gialo, the youngest and strongest of the three beasts, etc. (This story starter also uses setting.)

4. Suspense  --Example from The Hungry Year by Connie Brummel Crook

Kate woke up with a gasp. Was somebody breaking into their wagon?

5. Conversation  --Example from My Name Is Mike by Gail Sattler

"My name is Mike, and I'm an alcoholic."

6. Puzzling or mysterious statement –Example John 1:1, King James Translation of the Bible

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

7. Appeal to senses --Example from "The Blue Bead" by Norah Burke

From deep water came the crocodile. Out of black water, curved with whirlpools, and into the frill of gold shadows by the stepping-stones.

8. Emotions --Example from I Cannot Dream Less by Ray Wiseman

Tension hung over Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport, layering further discomfort over a hot, humid day. The weather was typical of February in Jakarta; but the tension arrived as a by-product of war in the Middle East, causing most travellers to question their reasons for overseas travel. (This story starter also uses appeal to senses, conflict, & setting.)

9. Startling incident  --Example from a novel in progress by Elma Schemenauer

My hot flashes started when my husband, Emory, died in somebody else's arms. Crazed with heat and grief, I opened the cages and let his precious birds escape.

10. Setting  --Example from When Lightning Strikes by Hugh Alan Smith

After the brightness outside, everything in the church was dark and shadowy. I forced myself to walk up the narrow corridor toward the terrible truth. (This story starter also uses emotions, mystery, & appeal to senses.)

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