Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Beginnings > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Beginnings

Just about everyone is familiar with this beginning: "In the beginning God created the heavens and earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep . . ." (Genesis 1: 1-2 RSV) In a sense we're playing God when we write a story. We create the characters, plot, and setting, turning a blank page-nothingness-into a compelling story.

Not only is your first scene the first impression of a story, it is the doorway that invites your reader on a journey. First scenes are what determine whether or not your reader is going to follow your characters to the end.

Your beginning must accomplish several things:

Introduce your characters

Establish the place and time the story occurs

Introduce the conflict or point at which change begins.

Your opening sets the tone, mood, situation or problem. It actually begins in the middle of things.

Looking at the first lines of Genesis from a purely literary standpoint, the first lines introduce God as the protagonist. The time and setting (simply) is the moment of Creation, same as the point of change. Before God created the world there was nothing. For the purpose of this illustration from a literary standpoint, Nothing was what happened before the story begins. It starts in medius res-in the middle of things.

Let's look at a few opening lines of other stories.

I could tell the minute I got in the door and dropped my bag, I wasn't staying. "Medley" by Toni Cade Bambara

This blind man, an old friend of my wife's, he was on his way to spend the night. "Cathedral" by Raymond Carver

She told him with a little gesture he had never seen her use before. "Gesturing" by John Updike

Something has already happened before the opening line. The first line is actually the middle of the story. Each story has its own history. The plot is affected by something that happened before the first sentence on the first page. In Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter's book, What If? They describe story beginnings: " . . . think of the story as a straight line with sentence one appearing somewhere beyond the start of the line-ideally near the middle. At some point, most stories or novels dip back into the past, to the beginning of the straight line and catch the reader up on the situation-how and why X has gotten himself into such a pickle with character Y."

Take out an old story, or one you've been working on. Look at the opening scene. As yourself: Does the story have a past? Is the current conflict grounded in the history of the story? If you answer no, then you don't know your story's past well enough.

John Irving said: "Know the story-as much of the story as you can possibly know, if not the whole story-before you commit yourself to the first paragraph. Know the story-the whole story, if possible-before you fall in love with your first sentence, not to mention your first chapter."

About The Author

Rita Marie Keller has written and published numerous short stories, articles, and essays. Her novel, Living in the City was released September 2002 by Booklocker.com, Inc. She founded the Cacoethes Scribendi Creative Writing Workshop in 1999.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Kavanaugh's extra-judicial writing and speeches
SCOTUSblog (blog)
We've collected extra-judicial writing, speeches and panel appearances of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. We may continue to update this post as we find additional materials. Articles and speech transcripts published in law reviews. “Defense Presence and ...


Chicago Tribune

Lucy Dacus talks books, writing songs as 'short stories' at Pitchfork Music Festival
Chicago Tribune
Because of Book Fort's literary bent, the duo discussed books and writers that inspired them, the relationship between how readers internalize books and listeners personalize music from a writer's perspective, and the struggle to balance expectations ...

and more »

Golden State of Mind

Interested in writing for Golden State of Mind? Here's how to apply.
Golden State of Mind
Perhaps even moreso than usual, we're not in a place of dire need for writers right now, but I occasionally receive emails from people interested in volunteering with us and like to open it up for submissions during the offseason when there's ...

and more »

Five Kindle Direct Publishing Authors Win Top Romance Writing Award
Odessa American
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul 20, 2018--(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Five indie authors have been named winners of Romance Writers of America 2018 RITA Awards, which recognize excellence in published romance fiction. All five authors published their ...


CNN

Circuit Court nomination pulled moments before vote over racially insensitive writing
CNN
(CNN) The White House withdrew the nomination of Circuit Court hopeful Ryan Bounds on Thursday, moments before the nominee was to face his Senate confirmation vote and after South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott raised concerns. Multiple ...
Trump Judicial Nominee Withdraws After Concerns Over Racially Insensitive WritingWall Street Journal
GOP Senator Defects, Sinks Trump Judicial Nominee With History of Racist WritingSlate Magazine
Mitch McConnell withdraws key Trump judge nominee over racially insensitive writingsBusiness Insider
Politico -Washington Post -Alliance for Justice -OregonLive.com
all 134 news articles »

Dallas News

Love writing? At the 2008 Mayborn Conference, N. Scott Momaday conveyed its power stunningly
Dallas News
Mr. Momaday held the crowd of 450 transfixed as he talked about writing and the power of the oral tradition. Transfixed is not quite the word — at times, the stillness in the cavernous hotel ballroom was near-complete. Not a chair squeaked, not a ...


Art Newspaper

Read the winning essays in new UK prize for art history
Art Newspaper
We asked one of the judges, David Dibosa, a reader in museology at the University of the Arts London, about the yardsticks for judging the entries. “For me, engagement in art is all about vision. From top art criticism to school essays, writers have to ...


Bam! Smack! Pow!

SDCC 2018: Joss Whedon writing new Dr Horrible comic
Bam! Smack! Pow!
During Friday's Hall H reunion panel at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) for Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the musical parody, Joss Whedon announced he is writing a continuation in comics form, The Hollywood ...

and more »

Writing on the Hall: Unsustainable
Rutland Herald
Since returning to City Hall coverage, I've had the occasional feeling like I've fallen into a mirror universe. It was sharpest this week, with tax rates getting set on the dramatically increased budget assembled by Mayor David Allaire and Alderman ...

Google News

How To Cut the Clutter and Win Readers

Most of us hate housework.Nevertheless, even the most hopeless slobs... Read More

Writers Who Consistently Cut The Mustard Do So Because...

Have you ever wondered why certain writers are able to... Read More

A Perfect Day for Writers

In one of the exercises in my "Getting Started as... Read More

Win More Clients, Projects and Freelance Jobs By Making Three Small Changes

Iâ??ve spoken to hundreds of editors, employers, and project managers... Read More

How to Come Up with Fresh Story Ideas

How to Come Up with Fresh Story Ideas When Your... Read More

Aesop, Abraham Lincoln, and You

May I tell you about a writing technique shared by... Read More

5 Easy Steps To Writing Your Appealing Letter

You must write a hypnotic persuasion letter to help you... Read More

Becoming a Writer

The urge to write fiction seems God given for some,... Read More

Be Concise

Concision. (Sounds like I made up another word.) It's the... Read More

When Getting Stuck Goes Amuck

Many of us have always wanted to write. We have... Read More

The Importance of Writing Clearly for Business

Creating written documents reveals so much about you and your... Read More

Does The Title Reflect The Story?

Short Story Writing Tips ?We all have different tastes in... Read More

Freelance Writing: A Career From Anywhere

An island in the Mediterranean. A beach in Africa. The... Read More

How You Can Find Freelance Editing Jobs

Freelance editing opportunities are out there, you just need to... Read More

A Plan

All writers should use a plan whether written or reflected.... Read More

Discover the Writer Hiding Inside You

Has the thought run across you mind that you might... Read More

How To Write A Newsletter

In order to be successful with a newsletter, specialize in... Read More

The Writers Angst

What is this annoying, insidious angst that permeates my psyche?... Read More

Screenwriting ? The Value of Structure

Structure in the form of frameworks, work processes and goals... Read More

Does Your Fight Scene Pack a Punch?

Long ago, movie directors mastered the technique of creating a... Read More

Writing Is Not Life-threatening

Some writers complain that writing is arduous work requiring long... Read More

Suspense Novels Made Easy

Suspense novels are probably the easiest novels to write. Suspense... Read More

Turbo Charge Your Career! Write And Produce Your Own Stage Play!

Have you ever wondered how you can adapt your screenplay... Read More

A Simple Contest with a Strong Message: Wake Up Your Writing Spirit

The Blogfest 2005 Writing Contest has only been running for... Read More

Overcoming Writers Block

Do you suffer from writer's block? Is there a pending... Read More