Saturday, August 7, 2010


First off I'd like to apologize for the lack of posting.  It's been a long, hard week, so I haven't been able to post anything nor could I really think of anything to post about.

Jessica was the first person to use the suggestion box. One of the things she suggested we talk about was beginning your stories. Beginnings are kind of essential, to anything you write. When you do public speaking, they like for you to begin with a joke or a strong point. For example, I read a poem at my great-grandma’s funeral and I began with “You know, waterproof mascara is the best invention ever.” Just as so, it’s very important that your story, poem, or novel starts with a strong point. You need to draw your reader in, make them want to start reading what you’ve written. Your whole piece could be amazing except for the beginning. But if no one wants to read the beginning and get to the parts that are wonderful, it won’t matter.

My wonderful writing teacher my eighth grade year referred to these such beginnings as “Interest Grabbers” or IG’s.

This is the most accurate name I’ve ever heard of describing beginnings because that’s truly what they’re there for: to grab the interest of the reader.

So if you haven’t caught on by now a beginning is very, very important. Finding a good beginning, though, can be somewhat tricky. It really depends on your topic, and what type of piece you’re writing. One way to generalize this topic is to think about things that usually grab your attention (not like the hot guy sparkling over there, more general than that). Leads may include, but are not limited to:

Flash-forwards, or

So, tell me. Which of the following pieces would you be more likely to read?

1) Today I decided to go to the mall because I was so mad at my mom.

2) The door slammed shut as my fist clamped around the car keys so hard I was sure I’d puncture my palms. Throwing my purse into the car, I followed suit and thrust the keys into the ignition, heading out in the direction of the mall. No matter how much I focused on the road, all I could think about was how idiotic and irrational my mother was. Just because she doesn’t like my boyfriend doesn’t mean she has the right to tell me who’s right for me.

It should be a no-brainer, but whatever. Number two would be an example of a combination of Action and Thoughts.

So, do you see how much more likely you would be to continue reading one piece over the other?  It's important because I would have put the first piece down by now, where as the second has my attention because it has captured my interest.  Would millions of people have read Twilight if Stephenie Meyer had started the book with "I'm Bella and I'm moving in with my dad in Forks, Washington."?  I will be the first to say that there are a LOT of books with slow beginnings.  And the slower the beginning, the harder it is for me to get through a book.  But sometimes the beginning (after the IG) needs to be slow, because you need to give some back story or information.  I agree, those are the most boring things to read and write, but they are needed.

Hope this helped!
*In the comments (after commenting on the post or whatever) tell Charlie you want him to start posting again.  He got spoiled with all of the new books he picked up in England. :P *