Ways to start a novel/book/story.?

Hey,

I am writing a fantasy novel/book/story...but I haven't figured out a good starting sentence...or..."hook". I have come up with LOTS of "hooks" but none of them are very good.

Help me out?!?!?!

THANKS!

Here's some examples of my..."hooks"....

(1)-I rested my head on the palm of my hand....

(2)-"(insert name here)!"my mother called from inside the house....

I hope you will help me out! THANKS AGAIN!!!

14 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your "hook" should be something really exciting, and maybe even mysterious.

    Maybe you're running away from something, but you don't reveal what this "something" is; let the reader keep reading to find out. Its a very typical hook, but it works :) .

    Another interesting hook would be something that begins as mysterious, but is revealed to be comedic.

    Ex: You're rudely woken in the middle of the night by sounds outside your bedroom door/window. After several attempts at ignoring the sound, you grudgingly make your way down the flight of stairs, cautious not to awake anyone else. Your paranoia eventually convinces you that it’s a robber stealing all your precious valuables. (I’m horrible at coming up with comedy scenes, so I’ll let you come up with your own).

    …point is, begin your story by creating an intense setting, and then either lighten the situation (by using comedy?), or intensifying it even more.

    Hope that helped! :)

    Please help with mine?

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=201001...

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  • Nat
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    It's hard to do without really knowing what the story is about, or anything about your characters. What I do sometimes is just start in the middle of the first chapter and just start writing, because as you go you learn more about how the story is going, and know better what should be at the beginning. (But that's just me.)

    It can be good to start with something that is an action sequence, a kissing scene, or even a mix of the two.

    Here's a website I found that has some good tips:

    http://www.helium.com/items/163409-how-to-write-an...

    Sorry I couldn't help you out more, but there aren't really any set steps to writing your first sentence. Just make sure to make it memorable and grab the reader's attention.

    Good luck with your writing!! =)

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Just create a sentence and build from there, it shouldn't be too difficult. And if you're unhappy with it later on, just alter it until your satisfied. That's how I write and I usually just scrawl down whatever I can think of and change it if I don't like it when I go back and edit that piece of my work...The hooks you have are a bit generic, but they aren't horrible. Just expand more and be descriptive and you should come up with something you love! Hope this helps!

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  • 1 decade ago

    1.Some writers like to map out their story ahead of time. Other writers jump into the story headfirst. Remember: Writing isn’t always a perfect process. It proceeds backwards, inside out, or upside down more often than forwards. Skip the first three steps, or add more detailed steps of your own. As The Writer, it’s your decision.

    2.Figure out what your story is going to be about. This is called the plot. To start, decide what the novel is about. It could be about a pirate captain who voyages the seven seas or a knight who defends his fortress from cruel invaders or a concentration camp escapee. Once you have the central idea it WILL develop into a full fledged plot. A plot needs a beginning, a middle, and an end. It also must have conflict and a resolution pulled on by believable motivation that will make your writing static.

    Consider using authoring software if you do not have a good feel for doing it on your own. This can be expensive but can help both the novice and the professional in developing solid stories.

    3.Create your main characters. Usually there is a main good guy (protagonist) and a main bad guy (antagonist). There are several ways to do this. One way could be to draw rough sketches of them. Another could be to write up a list of questions (name? age? pastimes? fetishes? flaws? temptation?) and answer them for each character. Or just start writing and take them raw. Make sure that these characters are believable and natural.

    Don’t make your protagonist perfect. If your protagonist is perfectly flawless, your readers will have no way to connect to him or her. After all, nobody’s perfect. For the protagonist character development is very important. These are scenes that tell the reader something more about the character. This will help the readers feel more strongly about him or her.

    Same applies to the antagonist, they shouldn't be all bad. If they have no good or human qualities, your readers will have no way to connect, and they will seem wooden.

    4.Create your other characters. Don’t make the mistake of thinking secondary characters are unimportant. They will inhabit the back drop of the novel and must help bring the place alive. These characters should be explored but remember that they should not get in the way of the protagonist.

    5.Start writing. There are several common approaches to writing:

    Begin with the ending in mind. If you know the ending of the story, it can help you form the theme, the plot, the settings, the characters, and it can help you progress more easily toward that ending.

    The big picture approach. Try to create the world (the overall setting and environment), and then build on it to create your novel. Create geography, races, towns, cities, capitals, cults, factions, governments, etc.

    Dive in approach. You have the list of the idea, and you start writing while it's still fresh in your mind.

    Start with characters. Create three or four characters and let the plot build up around them. This way will allow the characters to be more embedded in the plot.

    6.Make the Commitment. You do need to understand what you're undertaking. Many wonderful writers go unnoticed and unread because their drawers are filled with unfinished novels. You must say to your self that if this novel does not get written then you can only blame your self. Try to set small goals. This will keep you motivated.

    7.Create a habit. “We are creatures of habit,” it is said, and it’s true. Do the following things to help make your writing a habit:

    Make yourself write every day, whether it's a sentence, a chapter, or more, you must regularly dedicate some time to your novel. Set aside a quiet hour where everyone must leave you alone. Morning or night, it doesn’t matter, although some writers work better at certain times of the day. Just make sure you write daily!

    Create a writing space. Find a cozy place where you can relax and there are no distractions. Get a good chair to sit in which won't give you back pains after hours and hours of sitting and writing. You don't write a book in an hour, it takes months, so protect your back.

    If you are a procrastinator, try joining NaNoWriMo: write 50,000 words in one month to complete your novel. Writers tend to work better when there's a deadline to face.

    8.Seek constructive feedback. Never show your precious writing to someone you don't completely trust. Your writing is in its “baby stage” and it needs nurture and love. You need someone encouraging, but who isn't afraid to be honest and completely blunt with you. Remember, only take criticism from a friend as long as you know they are being honest with you, otherwise it is better to get criticism from an editor or agent.

    Consider joining an online or offline writing community. This can provide support, feedback, and peer reviews.

    9.Rewrite. The story is really written during this part. Editing and rewriting is what makes the story good, because you can always write fuller. The writing stage is when you set your ideas down. The rewriting stage is the time to make it great. But be careful not to over-edit. It is possible to rip out your story while you straighten your grammar. Check with two or more "personal editors" (aka, friends, family, teachers, etc...) before you do a massive edit (although your opinion is the final decision it is not always the right answer). Always save the first draft in a safe place. Sometimes you DO go overboard with the editing and end up wanting to go back to that first draft.

    10.Keep rewriting. A great story is never truly finished, and as an amateur, you really don't have any time restrictions. “A story is never finished, only abandoned.”

    11.Publish your work. This is the conclusion that most writers aim for. Whether you choose a well known publishing company, an online e-publisher, or self-publish.

    12.A good way to start writing a novel is to think about what interests you. If you don't write for yourself, your novel will seem superficial and plastic. It's better to share your plans with someone else, but only if it seems comfortable. Just do what you think is right, and turn off the spell checker. Write what you know and make it easy on yourself.

    13.One more simple tip is to make it casual and simple. Sagas are okay if you are completely ready for them. Don't keep blabbering about how characters are walking skip to the point. Only use key interactions. Especially show the reader not by telling them how a character feels but by showing them like:"Janet looked up at the overcast sky as her green eyes filled with tears." This tells the reader three things; she is sad, she has green eyes and it is a cloudy day. It also makes the reader wonder; Why is she crying, what will happen next? It will also set a mood. These are all the things you should keep in mind when writing. Keep it simple.

    Source(s): My best friend is an author, and always talks to me about her books.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Your ideas arent bad but a little too common.

    Depending on what your story is you could start the story in the middle of an event.

    The reader wont know whats going on but he will be introduced to what the story is capable of right at the start. the explanation and introduction of characters and so on is done after that.

    example:

    The desert was empty, not a single plant could be seen, there was no life, except for the battle between ___________ whateva you want...

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  • 1 decade ago

    PERFECT! I'm a writer, too.

    My best advice is to be very creative and use unique ideas.

    Start off the beginning by digging right in with maybe monologue

    Your hooks will come.

    Ideas-

    Witches

    Three best friends with powers

    Anything relating to power/people

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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't know exactly what the topic is but if you were to use sentence 1 you could do

    I rested my head on the sweaty palm of my cold hand.

    I know its not that good... its the best I could think of

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    actually the second example was good. starting with dialog is great because its what readers enjoy most. And since your would start with a name that would also "hook" people. depending on how unique the name is.

    you did good on your own

    =)

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  • 1 decade ago

    I like the first one, maybe he/she is day dreaming or just thinking, that's a good hook.

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  • 1 decade ago

    well that doesnt sound very interesting? try to think what would get you interested and what would tie into the rest of the story! good luck!

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