You’ve probably heard that when writing a story it is important to hook the reader from the start. The first page, the first paragraph, the first sentence, are all extremely important. Books have been written about that alone – or so I’ve heard, I haven’t actually read any of them.
Anyway, the beginning is important.
At the moment I’m drawing up outlines for a number of short stories, and while they’re not all done yet, it’s going pretty well (except I’m currently stuck, but I’ll sort that out). The stories are coming along, and they look like they’ll be able to fit what I had in mind for them – short, simple, and straight forward. Nothing fancy.
As I’m doing this I’m entertaining myself with coming up with potential options for the first sentence of each story, and I figured I’d share some of what I’ve come up with so far. So, here goes:
- “Yes Mr. van Waldenberger, the syndicate believes it would be in everyone’s best interest if you lost this match,” said the man in the dark suit.
- Roy stared at the phone, and the world spun around him. This changed everything.
- “I’m sorry miss. You know what the regulations say. I can’t give you any new shifts this close to the full moon.”
- Alene was out of the woods, technically. In practice she was still lost in the jungle with no idea how to get back, but at least no one was trying to kill her anymore.
- Paivi woke up with a raging hangover, groaned, and remembered that her sister had come back from the dead.
It’s more than one sentence in most of the cases, but I can live with that. It gives a wee bit more context, even if it may just be me seeing it.
Now, I can’t claim to be an expert on first sentences, but I feel these show some promise. They’re not final versions, but it’s what I have in mind, and hopefully it’s the kind of thing that’ll pull the reader in and make them want to read on the rest of the first paragraph.
I was originally planning on splitting my novel into twelve short stories. So far I’ve done outlines for seven of those. The eighth one that I’m working on at the moment will have to be split into three or four shorts – of which I’m done with two and working on the third.
From the list of stories I wanted to outline I have eight left that I still haven’t started on yet.
As expected, the project grows. I’m not too fussed with it. Setting up these shorts is turning out to be quite interesting and I feel like I’m unearthing little nuggets of knowledge here and there as I go. All things considered, I’m happy with my progress.