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Writing The Perfect First Scene

Front Door

Let’s face it. The first scene of your story is like the front door of your house. If it’s dingy, dusty, falling off the hinges, and covered with bric-a-brac and dead ivy, no one’s gonna want to come inside.

But it it’s well lit, clean, and organized, folks are more likely to take a step inside.

I’ve written a number of stories, and have gotten a lot of advice on how to start a new story in the most appealing way. And quite often, the way I choose to start it initially and the final beginning are very different.

Some of the advice I’ve gotten:

  • Start with short sentences to make it easy for the reader to enter the story
  • Start in the middle of the action
  • Change the starting part of the story
  • Add more exposition to ground the scene
  • Cut out some of the exposition – it’s getting in the way
  • Clarify a question/confusion that’s keeping the reader form moving forward

Not that there’s a “formula”, per se, for writing the perfect intro, Every story is different. But what advice have you gotten or given for the perfect first scene?

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