Here we are in January 2017 wrangling with so many different story ideas in our heads and barely enough time to realize them.
But here you are now, ready to begin the story that you’ve always wanted to write. You’ve got a killer outline with identical rockin’ characters who are ready to pounce into your first draft.
A first draft is just a first draft before it’s edited, just like bread is just bread before it’s toasted.
Anyways, I could go on for months about tasty foods but we are here to talk about one thing: Beginnings.
They’re what make or break your story in my opinion. You could have an awesome middle and an awesome ending but nobody will read it unless you have a freakin’ amazing beginning.
And while I do not think that it’s fair, it’s life, so we move on. But in order to create this ‘freakin’ amazing’ beginning, we’ll need a few ingredients, so to speak.
The first thing we’ll need is a match. Something to ignite your beginning. Something to make it burst from the first page.
And what will do that?
Well I could babble on and on about word choice and how great it is, but there is a simpler way. You, yes I mean you, need to become a part of your novel. From the first page on, you need to feel what your characters feel.
If a stranger is sitting next to you on an airplane with a dull expression, hooded eyes, and no excitement whatsoever you are 100% less likely to strike up a conversation with them about the screaming children two rows behind you.
It’s the same with novels. Your novel, no matter the genre or topic, needs to have feeling. Something that the reader can feed off of (no, not like vampires) (okay kinda like vampires) that will get them immersed into your plotline. Get excited, angry, or sad with your characters and your readers will be able to feel it.
And to ignite the flame of your beginning with the figurative match, you’ll need to give the readers emotion. Don’t start your novel out with “Once Upon a Time there was a girl named Samantha who lived in the forest. She was a happy girl most of the time.”
You can do better than that. I can do better than that. So get the first few sentences of your beginning out with feeling. It will spark the match and ignite the flame.
I find that novels that start off great usually turn out to be great. You’re making a first impression to the people that will read the novel. If you were going to a job interview you wouldn’t want to seem lazy and dull, right? You’d want to hop on into the office with a smile to catch the interviewer’s attention.
Turn out some emotion along with your plot and watch the reads roll in.