Hampton Roads Writers


In general, a story SHOULD begin just before the central problem emergesóno earlier. Provide only the background needed to understand the problem and its significance; then start building the tension. Avoid expository lumps of flashback (long stretches of narration that explain what happened in the past.) Show your characters in action or in speech; donít bore the reader with explanations.

You don't have to start with shock or surprise, but in general, the sooner you get the action rolling, the better. A good opening fits naturally with the rest of the piece. It gives the reader a sense (either overt or subliminal) of whatís to come in the way of tone, mood, and events. It should not mislead the reader, intentionally or unintentionally.

Write the first two sentences of a story intended for a child 6-12.

Write the first two sentences of a HORROR story.

Write the rest of the story


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