Idalita Wright Raso

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The opening scene of your novel

Posted by Idalita Wright Raso on September 27, 2020 at 4:30 PM

How to begin your story or novel?


The best place to begin a story is with action. The setting and background can wait. You must give the reader a reason to turn the page. Don’t start with explanations that information can come later. Instead, start with a good hook or action. This can be something interesting going on.


Take for instance the hook from “Oryx And Crake” by Margaret Atwood “Snowman wakes before dawn.” The novel focuses on a post-apocalyptic character called "Snowman", living near a group of primitive human-like creatures whom he calls Crakers.


“Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston “Ships at a distance has every man’s wish aboard.” This Harlem Renaissance classic focuses on the transformation of the main character, Janie Crawford from a voiceless, teenage girl into a woman with destiny and purpose.


Also avoid some classic pitfalls, like starting with a flashback. A flashback should be used to move the story forward and fill in necessary background information. There’s a danger of having a flashback, especially in the opening scene because the reader doesn’t know anything about the character. If you use a flashback in the beginning of your story, make sure it showcases your character and has meaning to the story.


Remember a strong beginning will capture readers, so make it as effective as it can be.

 

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