Short Story: Beginning – What does it need to do?

In a valiant attempt to focus on nano this year, I decided to chronicle my journey creating a humorous short story as a series of blog posts I could schedule over November. (and beyond…  bawhahaha)

We have already talked about the idea, some character basics, character archetypes, and finding the humor with a journalistic approach.

I had a week to get a first draft and the week was almost gone.  I have a grand total of zero words.  Ideas were percolating like a nebulous cloud hovering around me.   I’ve got to get something on the page. Time to write a beginning.

What a beginning should have: 

  • A hook to reel in the reader
  • A clear identification of character in action
  • A hint of setting
  • A start to establishing the rules of the world
  • A start in the middle of something emotional 

What a beginning shouldn’t have:

  • Long description of the scenery
  • Long description of the character(s)
  • Info dump on the character’s backstory

My first sentence wasn’t going to be perfect, I just needed to get a sentence down that got me started.

Here was my first draft starting sentance:

Max Femur placed the soccer ball where his head should have been. 

Well, okay then.  I finally had a start.  Let’s add more to make a first paragraph.

Max Femur placed the soccer ball where his head should have been. Drat, he still couldn’t see well. The white parts of the soccer ball worked okay, but the large black hexagons covered his view like wearing an eye patch. Not that he would ever be caught dead in an eye patch, let alone twelve.

At this point, I wasn’t going to agonize over it.  The clock was ticking and I’ve got some momentum.  The checklist will come in handy when I edit.

What do you think?  Are you interested in finding out about Max?

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