Where To Begin?

Many writers are afraid of a blank page. The white background with that beguiling curser blinking back at you, beckoning you to paint the page with words. How do you start? The first sentence of a story or book can be pivotal to a reader; a deciding factor on whether or not they will continue your tale or begin flipping through television channels. Stephen King, in his book On Writing, states that he puts a lot of effort into the first sentences of thoughthis books. That’s because a reader shouldn’t have to struggle through back story in order to discover what’s going to happen, it should just happen. Sure, characters have a past, but there’s an old saying among authors: show don’t tell. Your story’s beginning shouldn’t be a history lesson. Some like to open with dialogue while others prefer action. You hold the cards to your characters past and personality, and if you show your hand too early everything will grind to a standstill. Nobody wants that. Your story has to move, it has to put one foot in front of the other, one word after another. So, think of the situation, the engaging moment that will draw your readers’ attention, and just start walking.

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