backyard room additions easy house additions home addition with basement third lake home addition construction buffalo grove md kitchen and bath buffalo grove .. Chicago Drug testing

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:

In Your Own Words

More Tips For New Writers (Part I)Explain in your own... Read More

Do I Have To Be A Good Writer to Market My Own Business?

Many of the most effective low-cost marketing strategies require writing.... Read More

Stimulate Your Sensebuds...and Wave Goodbye To Writers Cramp!

When you get stuck for ideas, and the words won't... Read More

Get Published: The Nuts and Bolts of Good English, and How to Impress a Publisher (1)

Not all writers write good grammar. That's a fact. It's... Read More

Voice in Narrative and Dialogue - A Contrast of Writing Styles

One of the nice things about being an author is... Read More

Hey Cient, this is Me! Find Your Writing Voice and Sell Yourself

In a crowded market, clients will be seeking personality as... Read More

And What Do You Do? ... How To Know When Youre a Writer!

It's the funniest thing. When someone asks me what I... Read More

Persisting With Bulldog Determination

Persisting With Bulldog Determination [Book excerpt from Successercising} by Rick... Read More

Writing Business Letters That Get The Job Done

Despite the widespread use of e-mail in commerce today, traditional... Read More

Do You Know What A Plot Is?

Creative Writing Tips ?What a plot is and what a... Read More

Why Every Freelance Writer Needs A Website

What do you mean, you don't have a website yet?... Read More

10 Tips on How to Cultivate Relationships with Editors

If you are an aspiring writer, or you simply want... Read More

Essay Types and Modes Youll Need to Write for College

~TYPES~You Want Us to Write What? Understanding the Task AssignedWhich... Read More

Ferreting Out Work

FERRETING OUT WORK You keep hearing that there's work out... Read More

How To Publish Your Own Newsletter

With the expansion and diversion of businesses, manufacturers, and even... Read More

Dialogue Tags - A Study in Common Errors

Verb and SubjectIncorrect:"I bet you two had a fine time,"... Read More

Proof Positive: the importance of proofreading

Last week I was having a quick browse on eBay... Read More

Top Seven Ways to Select a Book Topic That Sells

Authors need to write their book according to their target... Read More

Inspiring the Poet in You!

Poems. Just the mention of them makes me smile. Why?... Read More

Writing Made Them Rich #2: Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born in Portsea, England, in1812. His father... Read More

Why We Dont Write Our Books

In the ten years that I've taught people how to... Read More

The Self-indulgent Writier

A writer can never be self indulgent whether writing fiction,... Read More

8 Ways to Write a Winner Book Fast!

Have you given up on getting your book out of... Read More

Reasons for Recording Your Life Story

1. No one else will do it for you.2. No... Read More

How to Write Bad Poetry

So you've decided to crown yourself with a title that... Read More

induction street high bay led lighting fixtures Pete's produce ..
induction street high bay led lighting fixtures Pete's produce ..