How to Start Your Story

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The Protagonist is always right.

The Protagonist is always right. (Photo credit: tsuihin - TimoStudios)

Once upon a time doesn’t cut it any more when starting your novel; you have to find a better way to pull in your reader into your story.  The first few lines usually introduces the main character and the “world” of your protagonist.  Sometimes books have prologues or prefaces which is an introduction to your story. It helps to set up the story with information before your story beings.  Stephanie Meyers’s first line of Twilight starts with “I’d never given much thought to how I would die–though I’d had reason enough in the last few months–but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.” This introduction sets up the “problem” Bella faces when she falls in love with a vampire and ends up becoming a vampire herself.  In her book HostMeyers starts with introducing a soul that is being inserted into her main character.Suzanne Collins author of The Hunger Games introduces Katness Everdeen, the book’s protagonist and her sister, then she sets up the dismal “world” the Katness lives in. Each description allows us to know the character and the rules of their world.  Whether the world you are creating is magical, science fiction or fantasy you’ll want to set up the “world” of your book in the opening of your novel.

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