A Writer's Life

A madman's quest to become a recognized author

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Getting A Good Start

Recently I've been really stressing about getting a good start to my writing and I started to wonder - how important is a good start anyway?

I mean, I know that hooking a reader in the first few lines is always a good thing and that it holds well for the rest of the novel. But how much does the first page or so truly tell you about a writer's ability? I mean, would you stop reading a book after the first page if you didn't like what you had read so far. I must admit that I have stopped reading books after a few pages generally if I did not like the author's writing style but i personally don't know many people who do this.

Some authors like to start their novels very simple. A nice simple situation with no real conflict where main characters and introduced and you get to know them in quite an ideal setting. Just as long as the writer has the skill to keep it interesting I find this quite acceptable.

My personal preference is to start in the middle of a conflict. I like putting the reader in the situation where you have no idea what is happening but the tension is still there and the reader is pulled in quickly. I believe that characters can be shown to have depth much earlier and I think that this makes them more interesting from the start.

I guess that no matter how you look at it the opening is really important but as the how important is left up to the reader I suppose. The best thing to do I guess is to strive for that perfect opening until you have it locked down. Play it safe


At September 01, 2006 11:40 pm, Blogger jayne d'Arcy said...

I'm a risk taker as far as getting started. I dive in and either I hit my head and crack it open, or I swim. Perhaps not very disciplined, but when I tried to be careful about my beginnings, I tended to get too wrapped up in them, and then never finished the story.


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