“Call me Ishmael. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. In a hole in the ground…When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.”
The first line of popular and classical stories. So it is time to write your story, and the blank page is in front of you. What to write?
Images of writers with a typewriter come to my mind. Ripping the page out of the machine and crumpling it up and tossing it into the garbage can. A can already full with papers littered around the floor around the receptacle.
A blank page is pressure. So many possibilities, so many directions, and yet….
A hook. Capture your reader in the first few lines, real them in and keep them turning the pages clear to the end.
So where is the beginning of the story? That is the question isn’t it? I wrote a whole trilogy. This summer I realized that my beginning, wasn’t really the beginning. So I’ve a new beginning to write and a lot of work ahead of me. However, it will be worth it. One of my first rules of writing, story first. What makes a good story? What do you need to do, as the writer to make a good story?
Years ago I sat in a theater and watched in awe the beginning of Star Wars. It was exciting, and visually satisfying. Nothing had been seen like it before, and it was satisfying. A great start.
So think of those great starts, what worked for you and why? Look at your work. Do you like the start? So that blank screen, that empty first page. What is it going to hold?
Another thought, somewhere I heard or read, and I don’t remember where, but I remember the concept. Remember the ending of a story can be the beginning of another story.
Here is to great beginnings.
Oh, and by the way… The books are: Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, The Hobbit, The Hunger Games. Just in case you wanted to know.