Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Questions about Beginnings (Part 9 of 9)

(an encore post)

Last words on first words.

One way to learn to write good beginnings is to see how the professionals do it. Although some do it better than others, I learned a great deal about beginnings by reading only first paragraphs of half a dozen books every day for a week.

Why not try my method? As you read, ask yourself these questions:

• What makes the opening strong?

• Does this paragraph fulfill the three purposes?

• Why does this opening hold my attention? (Or why doesn't it?)

• How could I have made the beginning stronger?

Wise writers willingly learn from the best.


  1. Thank you for sending all your helpful posts. You are an inspiration to many people.

  2. Cec, thank you. I got two language arts textbooks that contained short stories and excerpts from larger works. I typed up the first couple of paragraphs from each and put them into a word document. I settled in with these story starters and let my mind and emotions take me where they went. Now I challenge myself to come up with similarly strong beginnings.

    My next task will be to apply the 4 questions in this post to each. I've been taking notes from this great blog post series and it's shaping my writing. Thanks!


What are your thoughts?