View Full Version : Story Introduction

January 22nd, 2016, 05:39 PM
Before I start sound like a harsh critique, and a jerk face. I felt like I just need to write a thread about this. I have been writing for a very long time and I wonder if it's either I am bias or what, but I am having a hard time with the introductions of stories.

Take what I have to say with little to no face value, but please reread your introductions before you think it's good.

"She walked through the door excitedly" is a boring introduction

"Two woman were sitting having a conversation" is a boring introduction to a story

It's flat and doesn't intrigue the reader to read more. And when a reader is forced to read through a flat stale narrative, it becomes very hard to focus. We'll use the woman sitting in the cafe for example.

Take a minute instead of starting the story Telling the reader they are having a conversation, start off with the conversation

Instead of

"Two woman were sitting having a conversation"

Take a moment and write something like

"He didn't!"

"He did!"

"He wouldn't!"

"He would!"

"I cannot believe it!"

The two woman shifted in their booths, their expression said it all, shock and awe carved on their face like the lines of a stone gargoyle's jowls.

^I am much more interested in this. Than the standard boring introduction.

But then again maybe I am bias. Maybe I am just being nit picky. I don't know. But it was driving me insane.

January 26th, 2016, 10:34 AM
Isn't that just another way of saying show don't tell?

That being said there are times you just tell.

I have a scene in my WIP where one of my protagonist walks into a coffee shop for a back channel meeting with a Russian agent. I do state people were standing in line to order coffee. I don't describe or try to "show" them because the scene is not about them or the coffee shop. It is about the world wide drama happing between 2 intelligence agents. I don't have the word count to waste and I don't want to distract the reader.

June 15th, 2016, 07:47 PM
Shoving an active sentence as your first one is a handy way to hook a reader. Think active verbs.

I'll use your coffee shop as an example:

[Character name] sprayed dark roast into [other character]'s face. "He did what?"

June 23rd, 2016, 06:31 PM
I agree @JP-Clyde. I beta read quite regularly and this seems to always be such a huge issue with writers. While some writers are massivly good at writing introductions that hook readers instantly, the writing seems to dwindle in the middle of the chapter, then take up pace at the end. I see this every where, and it always throws me off. On the other hand, people who are opposite, they write boring intros but then write gripping narrative in the middle of the chapter with a lacking chapter ending.

Intros are hard, everyone has difficulty with them. They're the writers bane in my opinion and I wish there was an easier more universal way to write them without ripping your hair out of your head. 😑

August 20th, 2016, 06:04 PM
JP-Clyde -- are you an agent/editor? It would be cool to hear from literary agents or publishers about what gets them hooked. (first impressions count!)

October 11th, 2016, 12:55 PM
I opened my story with my protagonist taking to a dead radio, it's a simple dialogue opening that gives me a chance to show the readers his character