In The Demon's Head #56: Story Art- To Begin at the Beginning
August 31, 2012
Hello everyone and welcome to the weekend, I hope the rain hasn't splattered down on you like it did us here today, then again if you were like we were then the rain is never a bad thing. I hope that this post finds you doing well and also that your about to enjoy your labor day weekend. Hard to believe that 2012 is already 2/3 of the way over.
Today's post isn't your typical Friday post, Today actually is the continuation of the blogging series “Story Art” last Tuesday I talked about how I got ideas and before we begin with today's post I'd like to expand on that a bit.
In case your wondering there are 4 things that you can do to improve your idea generator, and while I had heard these before I didn't think to include them so I thought no better place then here. The four things you can do are, 1. People Watch- This may seem a bit creepy to some people, hell it does to me but there's no better way to improve your ability to not only generate ideas but you can get a better idea of how to improve your dialog writing. 2. Travel- Now I know this may be hard for some people but if money is an issue then that's fine just go to your local park, go wherever you don't go often so you can get a breath of fresh air into your life, you never know when the next great idea may be sitting on a bench next to you. 3. Talk to people- Now you can do this on social media websites but in reality it's better if you do it in person. Either way you do it, just ask questions, about a persons life, about the way they think, about everything they've seen and done, an idea could be right around the corner that way. 4. Read- I know this goes without saying but the more you read the better your writing is, and you never know if you may find an idea for your next poem or short story written in the headlines or in a book from someone else, it all depends but your next idea can be found in the words of others.
Now that I've finally covered that base let's move onto today's subject, this one is kinda touch for some people because they're all different but I'm gonna give you my take on it and from there you can think how you want, today's topic is where to begin a piece.
Writing for some come naturally, for others they work, and it's that work that some people find appealing but one thing that naturalist and workaholics share is where to being their pieces. You've seen every type of opening if you've read constantly. You've either seen the really bad non-attention getting headlines, or you've seen the amazing openings that sucked you in but why did they chose that event to start with?
I think it really depends on 2 things, the first is the style of the writer in question. I love to start with a kick to the gut every time that it's possible. If I can immediately ask a question that you want an answer to then your gonna want to keep reading to find that answer and that's the beauty of a captivating opening. Now that's not taking away from the openings that aren't so direct those openings also serve great purposes but I think it's really more toward what the author in question wants. 2. It all depends on the story in question as well, I think the story's depth should determine if it has a hard opening or a gradual one.
That still begs the question how do you chose an opening scene?
The answer to this is very simple, begin at the beginning. What this means is wherever you believe the beginning of the story is that's where you start. If you think the story should start Post car crash then by all means start it post car crash. If you feel the story should start right before the crash then start it there. However, choose the opening wisely because should you start to far into the heat of the story then there's a lot of backstory and questions that you'll have to answer then deliver a twist and turn leading to the climax, on the flip side, should you choose to start too far back of the event then your going to be going through a long and drawn out process leading to the final resolution and conflict and in that middle unless it's beautifully told then your going to lose a lot of readers.
A safe bet when it comes to choosing a beginning is to choose the middle ground between these two. You don't want to start to far back and give yourself too much ground to cover but don't start so far ahead that you have to stretch your mind to take it up and up and up only hoping that resolution and climax were worth the climb. You'll also want to avoid these two extremes if your just starting out, though that's a harder ground to crack. Trust your judgment and find a few readers who are willing to review your work for you. It's always a great idea to have a support group especially in a situation like this.
That's gonna close out this week ending edition of “In The Demon's Head” I'll be back on Tuesday with a segment on the middle of your stories and finally Friday we'll be covering the endings and then the following Tuesday we'll talk about how to wrap it all together. Remember, you can find out more about me and the stuff I write at my website, on there as well are the social media channels that I use, as well a more. You can also subscribe to this blog by putting your email address in the upper right hand box and have In The Demon's Head delivered to you hot off the presses.
Until the next time you want to take a trip through the gates of hell and into the demon's head, I'm Kyle Robinson wishing you a safe trip back to the surface.