Whether you are a beginner or an author of many books, one of the scariest things for a writer is THE BLANK PAGE. Some instructors advise putting something–anything–on paper and go from there. It is a good start, a good way to clear the air, so to speak, but most writers are looking for something more.writing-pad-3229690_1920

Remember that the beginning of a story should draws the reader in.  It should capture the reader’s curiosity and make them want to read on. Think back to your elementary school days. Your reading teacher told you to ask yourself as you read, “What do I want to know?” and this prompted you to read to find out more. This is the same thing you want to do for your reader: make him/her keep reading to find out what will happen next. That means you have to tantalize the reader with story tidbits.

An old journalism trick is to use the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where, and why). Begin with two characters and a specific setting. Then add something to make the story complicated, say, an argument or a problem, all the while answering the 5 Ws.

Another option is to begin your story in the middle of a situation. Imagine a series of events, or borrow them from a newspaper, real life situations, or even something in your own life. Open with dialogue, or an action, or a description.

The story does not have to be written all at once. You don’t even have to begin by writing the first scene. You might want to choose a scene that has been playing in your mind and write that first. It isn’t important for you to know how the story begins or even how the story ends. What matters is that you have a scene with characters, and that is a good start.

The April 11th meeting of Wordwrites Guild is in the Depot Room of the Lawrenceburg Public Library from 6:00 to 8:00.  Pat Hanlon, author of Hooker’s Bridge, will guide participants in a physiological study to help flesh out characters.  This is a not to be missed event.