December 6th, 2012

  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 7.49: Beginnings Revisited

Writing Excuses 7.49: Beginnings Revisited


Key points: "In late, out early" tells you the right place to begin. Also, you need to establish tone, setting, and character. Remember that beginnings are where you make promises to the reader. Prologues may work, but they are often overused. Orient the reader, don't disorient them. Your first scene needs motion, conflict, change. Make something happen. Establish a question and spark curiosity. Use something fascinating, interesting, geewhiz to pull the reader in. If it is not this world, quickly establish that it is another world. But remember learning curve. You don't have to try to tell us everything at once, just suggest and promise to come back later.
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[Brandon] All right. Well. We are out of time. Thank you all for listening. Our writing prompt this week is going to be... starting a new story. I want you to do each of these things. I want you to give us character, place. I want you to give us a sense of tone from the first sentence. All right. Do all of it in the first sentence. Character, place, sense of tone.
[Mary] I want you to do it in 13 lines, which is how many lines someone will see on your first page.
[Brandon] All right. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.

[Brandon] Hi, all. This is Brandon. I hope you enjoyed today's episode. I just wanted to give you a special reminder. Audible has my novella, Legion, up for free in audiobook. So since they're a sponsor of the podcast, I thought I'd give an extra shout out. They actually have, if you go to, they have Legion up there. You... there's no trial, there's no strings attached, you just get it for free. So I hope you guys go give it a listen if you haven't already. You can go to to download it and give it a try.