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opening your story–where to start your novel

Alrighty then. You need a whiz-bang a-number-one first sentence that draws your reader in. Makes him/her sit up and and say, “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

That’s a given.

But where, exactly, in the story, do you start?

HINT: Not at the very beginning.

Little Red Riding Hood does not start with the first time Little Red takes a basket to her grandmother, or the first time The Wolf eats a kid.

Harry Potter doesn’t start with Voldemort killing Harry’s parents.

Catcher in the Rye doesn’t start with Holden Caulfield’s arrival at Pencey Prep.

Your reader does not want to wade through all the backstory to get to the interesting bits. That’s your job.

Begin your novel on the day that is different.

Look at the point in the story these kidlitters chose to start:

In the Path of Falling Objects by Andrew Smith: The day Jonah and Simon leave their home to meet up with their brother and father.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Reaping Day

Escaping the Tiger by Laura Manivong: The night Vonlai and his family cross the Mekong River to escape Laos.

Plunge your readers into the thick of it, and don’t explain everything.

Give them a reason to turn the page.


a heck of a hook

Every story needs a hook.

I stumbled across this last month:


I thought, “Hot damn. Just the nudge I need.”

Lots of blog experts say you should post every day to have a successful blog. Erk. How daunting. But here was the perfect challenge to get me going.

April came, and YOU ARE ALL WITNESSES, I have blogged like a demon! But I forgot one leeeeetle detail.

Yes, you are all swifter than your Imaginal Realm Hostess…

A to Z Challenge…

I forgot the A to Z part.


But once I was hooked, it was the story I was interested in. And the story, for me, was my final product–a month of blog posts.

So, bravo…

Arlee Bird’s Tossing It Out
Jeffrey Beesler’s World of the Scribe
Alex J. Cavanaugh Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jen Daiker’s Unedited
Candace Ganger’s The Misadventures in Candyland
Karen J Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain
Talli Roland
Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs

For one Heck of a Hook.

It REALLY got me pulled into the story.







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