Crafting a Great Beginning

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. . . “

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

“Call me Ishmael.”

All of the above are fantastic beginnings from classic novels. They create a tone that sets the rest of the story and grab readers’ attention.

The most important part of a piece is the beginning. If you don’t hook a reader in the beginning, he won’t read the rest of your writing.

You must be compelling.

What is compelling?

  •  Jealousy
  • Betrayal
  • Conflict
  • Fear
  • Surprise
  • Guilt

What isn’t compelling?

  • Backstory/Flashbacks
  • Pointless chatter
  • Routine

Give your readers a reason to enter your world, and more importantly, to stay.

Also–begin by showing, not telling.  Open with dialogue and action.

Don’t tell the reader what’s behind the door. Open the door and draw him in.