This week we talked about how to make brilliant beginnings.
Some techniques we talked about for great beginnings:
- Provoke curiosity; raise a question in the reader's mind.
- Start with action or dialogue.
- Make your reader care about the character as quickly as possible.
- Give your main character a problem right away. This can be a small problem such as missing a bus, feeling nervous about an exam. It will still create a sense of movement, of things happening, which draws the reader in.
- Set a mood. For example, Alexandra Sokoloff's thriller THE UNSEEN begins with a description of a black hallway, which immediately establishes a creepy atmosphere.
1. Write in your Writer's Journal 10 minutes everyday (except Sunday if you prefer). Writing your story or working on character profiles etc. counts for this. Writers write everyday. See "Writing Prompts for Daily Writing" on page 6 of your writing workbook for inspiration.
2. Work on your blog. Add your character profiles, scenes from your story, your writing prompts and any writing you'd like to share and get feedback on. Make your blog a storehouse for your creative bursts of inspiration!
4. Keep working on your short story. By the time we meet again next week you should have have your storyline details worked out using your Story Structure workbook pages and you should have the story written through almost to the climax.3. Read and comment on half of the blogs in our class (see the schedule and blog address list Sister Johnson sent out). Remember if your blog is private send out invitations. If you are supposed to read and comment on someone's blog that is private it is your job to remind them that you need an invitation. This only works if you can get on each other 's blogs! :)
ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS FOR THIS WEEK:
1. Revise your story beginning using any of the devices we talked about in class. You want to create a beginning that HOOKS your reader and keeps them reading! Even if you like your beginning already, stretch yourself and play with other devices and write at least one more beginning for your short story.
2. Post your old beginning and your new beginning in a post on your blog BY TUESDAY AUGUST 14. This gives us all time to read and comment on your beginnings. If you wait until Wednesday night don't be surprised if no one reads or comments on it :)
3. Read your assigned blogs with intent to comment on their original and revised beginnings. You are helping each other by giving thoughtful feedback to help them make their story the best it can be. Which story beginning did you like best? Why? What really worked? What didn't work so well?
4. Read the following short stories from your Writing Workbooks: The Last Camp Along the Way and The Open Window. Look at how their beginnings worked - what devices did they use that kept you reading? Or did their beginnings not hook you? Why or why not? Come prepared to talk together about this.
NEXT WEEK WE WILL TALK ABOUT BUILDING SUSPENSE TOWARDS AN EXPLOSIVE CLIMAX.