May 15, 2010

Wannabe Writers #16

Wannabe Writers is a writing group for the un-published and anyone is welcome to join. It's a place where future authors can ask questions, share stories, and get feedback. Click (here) to find more about how it works.

Where I am in the writing process: I started writing in Nov. 2008. I've just begun a new novel (600 words in).  I have so many starts (without finishes) that I've lost track. 

My current problems: I didn't really write again this week.  Although, I'm on the verge of getting committed again.  I only hope it happens soon.  I'm about to start another draft of my first ever novel (this will make draft number 3...the one I begun in 2008).  Each time I morph the plot just a tad and make things simpler.  I'm finding that the story lines in my earlier work were way too complicated and my goal here is to write a 60,000 word novel not a 500,000 word one.  Oh, and I really need a new computer.  I think I've out-typed my current one.  Keys are beginning to quit working (like the left shift is totally gone). 

My question this week:  How to start a story.  I've never been very good a writing hooks.  Any suggestions?  How did you start your story?  (Dialogue, description, action, etc.)

17 comments:

Swimmer said...

I have the same problem about beginnings. All I know is you should start the plot immediately.

Crystal Cook said...

I think one of the best ways to start a story is where your main character is interacting with someone important to them. I also like to use vivid sensory detail, so the reader feels right away like they are right in the middle of your world. Not unnecessary details, backstory or lengthy descriptions about what your character looks like. I try to start with a scene that will intrigue the reader enough to turn the page without giving too much away. I try to make sure that my first chapter sets the scene for the direction the rest of the book will go.

Christine Danek said...

I like to start with the action that puts you in the middle of something your protagonist is going through. Then right into the plot. I don't like a whole lot of backstory. I tend to sprinkle that information throughout the story. I don't have a formula to developing a hook--my hook just happened.
Good luck!

Margo Berendsen said...

This is such a good idea, I hope it is open for anyone to join - maybe I should have asked first? At any rate, looks like our problems are kind of related. I have a story that's way too long that I've got to get down to less then 60,000. It's very hard for me! - I like complex plots. I'm trying to tell myself, simplify and save for later. My ideas could work for sequels.

Robin McCormack said...

I think the best stories are the ones that start in the middle of the action or in the midst of a scene with dialogue. Capture peoples attention right away.

Sarah said...

Margo--Of course...anyone can join. :)

Shalena said...

Hook is the important factor. Put conflict into the first sentence that makes the reader question what is going on so that the reader has to read-on to find the answer. Easier said than done, of course, but initial conflict is what I think about and focus on as I open a story.

madeleinerex.com said...

I totally went to town in my comments on hooks! Love that topic! I got to quote bunches of things. ;D

madeleinerex.com said...

I totally went to town in my comments on hooks! Love that topic! I got to quote bunches of things. ;D

madeleinerex.com said...

I'm sorry for the double comment. That was entirely unintentional.

-Madeleine

InABox said...

Try picking a setting and then finding a story to fit or brainstorm a situation and create a plot from that. I love on-the-fly story building.

Tahereh said...

you're doing GREAT! just hang in there! keep pushing and you'll break through!

my fingers are crossed for you :D

ReadingRainbow said...

I think jumping into the action is important. However, leaving it too vague is a problem for me. I hate when I read a book and I am all WTH? from the beginning.

Jamie Council said...

The newest piece I've started began immediatly in the middle of action. I'm trying something with this that I've never done before...I'm just sitting and writing without a solid plan and outline. Each time I sit to write I am amazed at how the story is evolving. I'm crossing my fingers that it actually gets finished.

Palindrome said...

I usually start after a random scene comes to me and I just write it. After that's done, I may do a couple more scenes but then I go to the summary/outline stage and see where I'm going to go with things...tenatively.

Carol Fleserieu-Miller said...

Keep on keeping on. I know you can do it! We all can be your cheerleaders. Thank you for this meme. Just put up my first post for it at http://52annualbookreviews.blogspot.com

Nishant said...

I don't have a formula to developing a hook--my hook just happened.
Good luck!
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