I have to go get food. brb. Wow, cherry-vanilla Dr. Pepper is good.
OK, I have food! You know what? Moofy is Naughty. He destroyed a roll of toilet paper last night. I suppose I should just be grateful he couldn't get into the trash.
I have a cold. The kind of cold that has me talking like this "I hab a code" and sneezing a lot. Yesterday I had a headache but today I don't so yey.
I made a new layout for my other journal
. I also made this icon I was wanting the other day, finally found a picture I liked.
So, lots of my friends write fanfic, or non-fanfic, and it's good. And I go like this "I should write fanfic!" but then I go to comms and read fanfics, and it's less than good, and I think "ooh suppose I accidentally write everybody OOC and have a crappy first para."
So, let me give some hints as to crappy first paragraphs. Because that really can kill a fic. OOC-ness, well, lots of people will overlook that. But a bad first para makes us not want to gush over the piece.
The first paragraph should grab the reader's attention so that he is inclined to read more. The first sentence is especially important to achieve this. Dialogue is a good choice, as the reader suddenly must read more simply to find out who is speaking and to whom. Yelling dialogue is even better; it pulls the reader immediately into a conflict, which is the basis of all fiction to begin with. Other commonly used and relatively easy to implement starts include sound effects (BANG.), anonymous malicious actions (He picked the phone from the dead man's hands and breathed one word into the receiver.) and incomplete introspection (...monster...
the word echoed in his mind.)
Of course, that is not the complete list of all good beginnings. But here is a list of bad opening statements. Exposition. Some very talented writers with unique witty stylings can get away with this. Odds are, you are not that guy. Until you are convinced that you are, avoid openings such as "Bob had always been the sort of person who liked socks, and today was no different." But even that is better than "Sylvia walked home from the store, humming to herself and thinking about George's cologne."
In each of those, we are being told something explicitly. In the first, there is no action whatsoever and the description implies heavily what the contents of the next sentence will be. We are pretty sure the next sentence will have something to do with Bob and his socks. Either he is putting on socks, or he is taking off socks, or his socks feel squishy after riding the Splashwater Falls at 6-Flags. Do we care? Not really. We can confidently skip that entire paragraph with no loss of comprehension. Later in the story, when we care enough about Bob to be interested in his character development, we won't feel like skipping Bob's sock adventure.
In the second example, there is action, but not interesting action. We already know too much about the immediate time in the story. Sylvia is happy, George is either her lover or a crush, and she's just been shopping. Again, we just don't care enough about Sylvia to be interested in her day-to-day routine. Now, combine one of the examples in the Good section with this one, and we have something intriguing.
He picked the phone from the dead man's hands and breathed one word into the receiver.
He tossed his head back and laughed, crushing the hapless electronic device under his heel as he casually stepped out of the darkness and back into the dull glare of the streetlamps.
* * *
Sylvia walked home from the store, humming to herself and thinking about George's cologne.
Are we intrigued now? We are. Was George the dead man? Is George the killer? Was it George on the other end of the phone? Or is Sylvia next on the killer's list of people to kill? We have to read more to find out. And that is the goal of the opening paragraph.
So, sure, my examples are from suspense, but it also works with humor and romance. In fact I just read a quite nice little drabble that used one of the 'good' openings to it's full potential (conflict dialogue). Sadly, I'm preaching to the choir here, you lot are all good writers and my little rant here is probably completely superfluous. I'm probably wrong, too, but that's OK, because I know what I meant. Jammin' with :
Ayaka Hirahara - BLESSING