Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Great Beginnings

Mindy here. Since I'm totally squeezed for time this morning, I'm gonna keep this short. But I want to talk about story openings.

If there's one thing contests do, it's let you know if you're starting your story in the right place, on the right foot. Just like in life, you only have one chance to make that first impression. Therefore, it'd better be a good one.

So what takes an opening from ho-hum, wow? A great first line or paragraph? Captivating characters that intrigue you so much you can't wait to learn more about them? A sense of place that grounds the story? Or a balanced mix of each of those factors?

What do you look for when you open a book? What draws you into a story?


  1. I'm not sure what I am looking for but I will know with in the first couple of pages if I am going to like it and some I just can't get into. Maybe at a later date I can go back and really be interested in the same book

  2. I think it's total characater involvement (meaning the reader cares about the character right out of the gate). And the character has to be thrown into an exciting situation pretty quickly. No sitting there just thinking about how nice the weather is.

    I also think you have to write something catchy, but you have to follow through on the promise. Don't do something really wild and out there just to grab the reader's attention. I once judged a contest entry that had this really throat-grabbing opening paragraph, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the story! I couldn't believe it. I felt cheated.

    Mindy, are you feeling any better yet?


  3. Edna, I'm like that. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for a certain book. but I like it when I go back to it later.

  4. Edna, I know exactly what you mean. Often times it just depends on my mood.

  5. Missy, as of yesterday, I'm finally feeling better. Still have the cough, but it's TONS better. Thanks for asking.