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Beginning a Story
A Tutorial by SushiiSquirrel
Translated by her human counterpart Amanda from short hand and chicken scratchings found in the authoress’ notebook.

Are you tired of ideas, ideas, ideas and no way to express them? Do you just wish someone would read your story? Finish it? Leave a comment? Are you frustrated with everything you write? Let SushiiSquirrel teach how to begin yourstories!!!

We all know that the most important part of an essay is the lead or the ‘hook’. Whatever it is that draws your reader in. Likewise, the beginning of a story is very important and can be done effectively, or poorly. Following are the eight types of beginnings used by many professional writers. I have searched through several books and categorized them into each type of beginning, thenstudied them to see what makes each one so effectual. Each category is organized like so:

Type of Beginning: Brief description of what this beginning is, how to recognize it and how to write it. Suggestions from SushiiSquirrel on how to make this beginning work for you. a few Titles and Author Names of books that exemplify this type of beginning.
Notes from SushiiSquirrel on what genres workbest with this type of beginning.

With any luck, you’ll have readers begging you to write more. However, while the beginning is important, it’s not the only thing that makes your story good. The function of ‘the Beginning’ is to draw your readers into the story, so make sure your story is as exciting in the middle as it is at the beginning and the end. When you choose a method of beginning thatsuits the story, you are writing well. Voila!:

Reflective: This type of beginning starts from the end. It is usually a first person narrative from the main character’s point of view. The tone is reflective and normally formatted as the character’s thoughts, like a soliloquy. However, it can be the character thinking to themselves or the format can be indecisive and you can let the readerinterpret whether or not the words are being spoken out loud. It actually matters very little how the character is saying something. The important part is what the character is saying. Think about how your character will feel and act after all the events in a story to make it seem more real. This beginning is very suitable for a story that ends sadly or neutrally. That way the end can set the tone forthe whole story if you know what I mean. Just remember not to take too long writing this part. You don’t want to spoil too much for the reader by going on and on. Keep it vague to keep the readers attention. A few good examples: The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer-Bradley, Spider’s Voice by Gloria Skurzynski, and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire.
Note: This type of beginningworks well for historical fiction.

Anticipation: It begins with the characters waiting for something. Is it an announcement? Is it the results of a big exam? Maybe a much dreaded visit from a relative? Whatever it is, it should be something big or important. Something that will set the plot off. This beginning plays up the basic human emotion of apprehension. Immediately the reader can feelwhat the character is feeling and is nervous for them. Written from third person, it makes the reader feel like they are there. Make ‘em antsy! The reader is able to view the physical effects of nerves from third person. Get into the nitty-gritty details. Describe the globs of sweat, the fidgety fingers. Create a picture in your mind. Watch it like a movie, then put every detail into words. That waythe reader gets really excited to see what will happen! A few good examples: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, Byzantium by Stephen R. Lawhead, and Wicked by Gregory Maguire.
Note: This beginning works fairly well with adventure stories where you’re ready to jump into the plot.

Factual: An overview or a brief history beginning can put your storyline on the move. 3-6 paragraphs...
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