In response to Writing 201 week 2 workshop Intros and Hooks.
Your opening lines are your first chance to hook your reader — but also to lose them. Nowhere is this truer than on the internet, where we make near instantaneous judgments on whether to stay on a page, or move on.
Last week, you found your story’s angle. Next, make sure people stick around by crafting a compelling opening: a question your readers can’t refuse, asked in a way only you can.
If you’ve had a lightbulb moment and have an opening that moves you, hooray! If not, start with a few of the options above, and see whether one helps you express your angle. This is a time to play — write five different intro sentences, or ten. Which ones express what you hope to say? Riff on them, and mix and match elements from all of your attempts to create just the right opening, which we hope you’ll share in the Commons.
Along with the facts you want to present, think about how you want your reader to feel and what parts of your story you want to emphasize. Do you want to shock them? Make them laugh? Make them uncomfortable? Bring them into your story gradually? Have them begin reading in a good mood? An apprehensive mood? A gloomy mood? An excited mood? These are questions that will inform the way you translate your question.
These are possible introductions to different stories I’m working on or editing. I’m such a bad editor though 😛 .
This one is an introduction to a story that’s currently 114 pages. I’ve probably got about the same amount to still write but I need to reorganize some things and figure out a few others.
I was here, and it was of my own doing. I’d been too proud. I thought I could do this by myself and it proved stupid. Now all was at risk: the kingdom, the life we’d had, and everything else. I didn’t understand all of it nor how it all began. I only knew how it came upon me.
This is the introduction to my NaNoWriMo 2013, a while ago. I’m still in the process of editing and rewriting this one. I’ve been playing with 3 different chapter 1 and I can’t say I’m convinced yet :-P.
She opened her eyes and wished she hadn’t. It was a massacre. A wave of nausea overwhelmed her, leaving her sickened and shivering uncontrollably. Despite the bright sun, she was extremely cold. And there was no sound, not even that of her sobbing. Yet, tears ran down her cheeks, tracing a path in the sticky blood that – she knew – covered her face. Her hands compulsively clutched at her skirts. Her dress was soiled with blood and the remnants of her meal. It stank so much she might throw up again.
Another NaNo intro, 2014 this time… Again, I’m struggling with it.
It had been a long trek in a long trip. At least, it was the longest I had ever travelled in my life. I was tired, exhausted even. I had not slept much on the way, aware of the urgency of my errand. It was clear I was not to tarry on my way. In fact, I had almost reached my destination: Dooneeva, seat of the High King of Eirean. I had acquainted myself with the history of the place. It was the place of power ever since men came to Eirean and established their holdings; it did not look anything like the pictures I had seen in the books. But I knew that stones had replaced wood and tents among the dragon riders as they had in our realm.
This is the introduction to a story I’ve shared on this blog. But I like to revisit and I wonder if it works
They found her in the forest during one daily ride; she was covered with an animal hide and dancing in a clearing falling leaves twirling around her. Her tangled hair moved about her and it seemed as if the leaves were actually dancing according to her movements. In fact it was uncanny, as when she saw them and stopped abruptly lowering her arms, so did the leaves falling onto the ground as if they’d been held in the air by her gestures only. She appeared to be 5 or 6 years old and wild as an animal of the forest. But she was also curious as if she had never seen humans before and she stood there looking at them with eyes of silver.
I’m not sure where this story is going; but I wanted to work on an unreliable narrator concept in the first person.
People will tell you I never lie, that I don’t know how. It’s true; most of the time… I don’t usually need to lie. But I’ve never attempted to correct them; it suits me to be thought of as the innocent, naive, even gullible girl. I’ve got out of a number of potentially awkward situations thanks to that; only that time, it might not be enough.