How do you begin a story? Not in the sense of create, but where do you start? I was always told to start in Media Res. Latin for in the middle of things. There are countless ways to start a story. I'm going to talk about a few ways to start, but this is by all means not exhaustive. When I'm wanting to strengthen a skill, I look to mentor texts. So let us take a look at some excellent stories and see how they begin.
"I imagined the broken rocks as the broken bodies of my enemies, the bones shattered, their trembling arms reaching upward in a useless gesture of total and complete defeat. I was a very odd little girl."
As explored last week, characters are the heart of our stories. We gravitate toward like minded people, even fictional ones. Some of my best friends, the ones who get me, who think like me, who yearn like me, are fictional characters. Think of Anne of Green Gables. Who hasn't made mistakes before? We promise to not make mistakes again, only to turn right around and make an even bigger mistake! Who hasn't had a Mrs. Blewett in her life, or contrastingly, a Matthew Cuthbert?
Here is a Free Character Sheet for writers.
Dan Wells is also on Writing Excuses with Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Taylor. This is the second book I've read by Dan Wells. The first one I read a few years ago is called Partials. It was a good story centered around a brilliant idea, but it got a little too teenager … Continue reading I am Not a Serial Killer
My first review simply must be a YA book by my favorite author, Brandon Sanderson. I have listened to a podcast by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinnett Kowal, and Howard Taylor for the last 6 years or so. The podcast is called Writing Excuses and is about the craft of writing … Continue reading Steelheart