How do I start out a story to grasp the reader in? Can you give some examples, too?


3 Answers

Writer ReeRee Profile
Writer ReeRee answered

Normally, I would use the most interesting page of the book, and put it in the place of a prologue. You could also have a very interesting prologue. Right now, I don't have any examples, sorry.

Didge Doo Profile
Didge Doo answered

I once read a book that started with a watchman patrolling the docks. As he walked he thought about his family, his approaching retirement, his hopes and plans for the future. By page 3 he had been murdered and by then I was already identifying with him and feeling bad on his behalf.

That's how it's done. Get your readers involved emotionally with your characters.

Or you can take another tack: Cecil B. De Mille once said that the formula for making a great movie was to start with an earthquake and build up to a climax. It's the "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" approach. That also works.

In my own novel I used a prologue that was necessary to set the scene, but which wouldn't normally have been my preference. But prologues can also work if they're interesting. They need a little more care.

Ray Dart Profile
Ray Dart answered

I'm sure this answer will be deleted. Many years ago, a well-known (female) writer was asked what an ideal opening line for a best-seller should be.

She replied.

"It should include wealth, profanity, sex and nobility.


'Damn  it' said the Duchess to the King, 'Take your hand off my leg'."

(Although her reply used a different word from "Damn").

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