Posted in action, beginning, better writing, great writing, how to write, The Writer's Toolbox, writing

3 Ways to Make an Engaging Start to a Story, Chapter, or Novel

How does a writer start a story, chapter, or novel to make it engaging and keep the reader interested? After all, a story can be good, but are there are some key elements to making a story, chapter, or novel stand out? There are actually, and this post will address three of them, and I’ll give some examples of really fantastic starting lines I’ve come across in my reading.

Have you read some of the classics (even just dating back a few years ago) where the authors take the time to build a relationship with the reader? The stories start at a leisurely pace and it may take awhile to see any real action. That was nice and great, but unfortunately to be a writer in this day and age you have to forego the hand holding and get right into it. You can do the hand holding stuff, but do it while you are hooking the reader.

1. Start in the Middle of Action

One of the best ways to engage and hook the reader is to start in the middle of some sort of action. If you are starting a story or novel, then it should be bigger and more attention grabbing action.

What sort of action? Ask yourself this question. If you were starting to read a new book or story what would grab your attention?

Maybe your character is in the middle of fighting off a mugger? Or maybe your character is in the middle of a car accident. You can even do a smaller action like maybe a student just dozed off in class and smacked his head against his desk. Or maybe your character is driving down a dark road and the gas light is blinking and there’s not a gas station in sight.

How big the action is isn’t nearly as important as the action itself. Start with that blinking empty fuel tank light, or your character dodging a fist, and go from there. Engagement in this way creates interest, and then the details can be filled out as you continue further into the story.

Here’s an intriguing action line that opens the book The English Assassin by Daniel Silva.

Marguerite Rolfe was digging in her garden because of the secrets she’d found hidden in her husband’s study.

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Posted in book review, books, ebook, fiction, novel

Book Review: The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu

The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu is available on Kindle and in Paperback.

deaths-of-taoThis is a freaking awesome book! A must read for science fiction and action-packed loving readers. The author had me from page one as we see Roen and Jill three years after The Lives of Tao and things are completely different. In fact, I’m quite shocked at how different things are and I just wanted to read to figure out how things got so messed up in the three years since we saw Roen, Tao, and Jill.

The incredible character arcs are heart-tugging as a clearer picture unfolds of the missing three years as the story progresses. The Prophus may have won the battle, but the Gengix are determined to win the war and Earth to boot. Things get dark and deep fast as the Gengix’s plan unfolds. Roen and Tao make huge sacrifices in an attempt to stop the catastrophic plan.

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Posted in blog tour

My Writing Process (Blog Tour)

I was recently invited to be involved in a writing blog tour to discuss my writing process. Thanks Denise for inviting me! You can check out her blog and her responses here. I am supposed to pass this torch on to other bloggers, but dropped the ball (because I’ve been so busy working on my novel) and didn’t send out my invitations to other bloggers in time for this to post. So I thought I would open this up to any of my readers who would like to keep the flame going. If you would like to answer these questions and post on your blog (on next Monday), feel free to do so. Just post in the comments below or use my contact page to email your blog link to me, so I can post your link on this post.

So let’s get started with these questions…

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