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The Introduction


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#1 24moon100

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:37 PM

Hey MCMBers. :)

Okay, so I know introductions can be somewhat of a complicated topic (since there is so many ways to write one) but maybe you guys can provide some advice/opinions. Anyone having the same issue or trouble perchance?


I'm personally experiencing a struggle with introduction sentences. I just can't seem to get them right.


For instance:

I rarely have a strong attention grabber. If I try to start out with dialogue (which is sometimes the easiest to do) It usually turns out weak or cliche. If I start out with a thought, I tend to write very clumsy and scrambled. I just say the first thing that comes to mind. And lastly, if I start off with scenery, I find that I dive into way too much detail for it to be entertaining.

Anyway:

Can anyone shed some light on this please? If you want to put up a link to a website, thats absolutely fine, but your own examples/opinions/advice is just as much appreciated.


Some Reference Questions:

-What do you normally start off your intros with? (ex: dialogue, thought, scenery, flashback, foreshadow, ect.)

-What do you find the most effective to your interest in other intros besides yours? (see above examples)

-Do you start out with a certain mood? (Hint: Sad, Suspenseful, Dark, Humorous, Light, Happy, ect.)

-What mood do you find the most attention grabbing in other writing besides your own? (See hint above)

-Is your intro simple and clear (straight to the point) or do you like to make your readers think?

-Do you prefer to have a short introduction sentence, or do you tend to write a more lengthy beginning?

-Do you often use first person, or third person when writing?

-What else do you expect in an exceptional intro? (Anything else that you would want to see in others and your own intros)



Again, anything you want to share or ask is greatly appreciated. Also, anything that I didn't mention but still relates to introductions, feel free to share as well.

:)


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#2 Jcrazy

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 09:58 PM

-What do you normally start off your intros with? (ex: dialogue, thought, scenery, flashback, foreshadow, ect.)

I found some of my old intro's:

"Superman, dude, Nick," a voice behind me called as I rushed through the hallway, trying to find Cassidy before class. "I need some help."


The email appeared in my inbox on June tenth, my first day out of school. It began with Dear Victoria. That's how I knew it wasn't a simple hey-how's-it-going email. If it had been, it would of said Vicky with a dozen exclamation points after it. My dad was like that. 


Clearly I switch it up, haha. Maybe if you're trying to start, write a few different beginnings. One with dialogue, one with description, one with a flashback, etc. See which one turns out best and go with that. I've frequently done that... 

Also, know what kind of story it is. If it's serious, don't begin with a jokey line and give the wrong impression. But if it's a comedic story, begin with something maybe amusing to let the reader know what they're getting themselves into. :P

-What do you find the most effective to your interest in other intros besides yours? (see above examples)

Probably dialogue, because it let's you jump write in and I'm really impatient. Lol. But it has to be good. Cliche stuff or overused begins bug me. And for the love of God, never begin with RRRRIIIIIIING. Lol. 

-Do you start out with a certain mood? (Hint: Sad, Suspenseful, Dark, Humorous, Light, Happy, ect.)

Generally humorous, but we all know that's just me. :D Hehe. 

-What mood do you find the most attention grabbing in other writing besides your own? (See hint above)

Nothing too serious. I don't like it when there's no background info, yet there's already so much conflict/seriousness. It just sorda stresses me out in a way, if that makes sense. Haha. 

-Do you prefer to have a short introduction sentence, or do you tend to write a more lengthy beginning?

Hmm, you don't want to lose the readers interest, so probably something short and quick enough that can easily grab the readers attention. I'm sure I'm not the only one with a short attention span who would rather not have to sit through a mile long description about the characters life before getting to know what's actually going on. :) But sometimes those CAN be nice if they're really good and the author finds a way to spice it up! 

-Do you often use first person, or third person when writing? 

First, but it just depends on what you're writing. 

-What else do you expect in an exceptional intro? (Anything else that you would want to see in others and your own intros) 

For it to be good :o lol. 

~

Hoped that helped a bit~

And you know it's strange, but I find some of my best intro's are the ones that happen when I just start writing, not really knowing where it's going. It's less forced, I guess you could say. 

Intro's sometimes suck, but that second chapter is soo worth it, hahaha. :) 

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#3 suze.angelova

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 10:03 PM

Sorry, I cant write too much as at right now, as my economics teacher keeps staring at me and asking me what Im doing... :P

Anyway, I usually start off with dialogue, or a quick description of what happened in the last chapter, but in a way that makes sure nothing is repeated, if you know what I mean.

I think when Im writing the draft of a story, or for the first time, I get really impatient so I skip too much detail and get straight to the point, but when I really want to make it good, I make it more detailed without boring people outta their minds :P

And I usually write in first person point of view, but lately Ive been seeing the benefits of third person in some cases where I dont want the secondary characters to be as mysterious as usual.

Ill add more to this later :)




:heartbeat: Suze

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#4 24moon100

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 11:09 PM

And you know it's strange, but I find some of my best intro's are the ones that happen when I just start writing, not really knowing where it's going. It's less forced, I guess you could say.

Intro's sometimes suck, but that second chapter is soo worth it, hahaha.


You know what, Jamie? That is totally true. :) Its always the first chapter that I freaking hate (well, not always), but then my intros and conclusions gradually become more and more progressive over the course of the story. Ironically enough, thats when I start having problems with the body of the story. :P

I can also see how jumping into an idea with not much anticipation and expectations can give you a little breathing space for an intro. So thats something I defiantly overlooked for sure.

Anyway, great response! I loved it. :)

Edited by 24moon100, 26 September 2011 - 11:10 PM.

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#5 DayDreamer95

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 09:23 PM


-What do you normally start off your intros with? (ex: dialogue, thought, scenery, flashback, foreshadow, ect.)


I use a lot.
Examples:
Waking Up In The Morning

I rose early this morning, by my window I heard the birds tweet and the trees swaying to and fro. I got myself dressed wearing Ma's old cooking dress and apron. I walked down the creaking old cabin stairs. As I did so, I heard the Ma's old cabin door slam. I ran down the creaking stairs. I ran to the living room, hoping that you were still sleeping on the Pa's couch. Unfortunatley you were out the door. I have lost you again.


Horror Flashback

"911 what is you're emergancy?"
"I had an accident. On Hendersonville Road. Help, please." Juliet screamed before hanging up, and looking over to her unconisious boyfriend.


I also use a lot of thought and dialogue.


-What do you find the most effective to your interest in other intros besides yours? (see above examples)


I like something with dialogue or thought. I'm easier to grab and have my attention. I have probelms with scenery or describing people. My attention span is very short.

-Do you start out with a certain mood? (Hint: Sad, Suspenseful, Dark, Humorous, Light, Happy, ect.)

I start a lot with Dark, or Light. It depends on the story. It it's a mystery it has more of a dark intro. A simple love story I'll being with happy or humorous.

-What mood do you find the most attention grabbing in other writing besides your own? (See hint above)

I like darker intro. It leaves me with thoughts flushing threw my mind. Suspenseful would also be a fantastic beginning.

-Is your intro simple and clear (straight to the point) or do you like to make your readers think?

For sure I like the more witty more clever kind. Hints to what might happen to what might happen in the ending.

-Do you prefer to have a short introduction sentence, or do you tend to write a more lengthy beginning?

For sure the shorter. But I've tried extremely hard to do length beginngings. Though, i press too many thoughts in the story so I like a short-and-sweet intro
-Do you often use first person, or third person when writing?

-What else do you expect in an exceptional intro? (Anything else that you would want to see in others and your own intros)

I would want to see more descriptions in my. I try to add as much as I can. Though, I sadly go by the deep end. My descriptions begin to not flow.

And I want them to be excuted perfectly.

Ya know?

-

I read over my old stories a lot, and see what i wrote and find out that I had fanastic ideas, I just never really worked on it hard enought to be soild.
:)


Hope this helps beginners!
Alex~ :a_smil08:
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#6 mediator7

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 08:50 PM

I usually start writing with something that is unusual and catches the reader's attention, that(if it's a comedy) is funny. Such as:

From Chanel to Chapstick (Once I rewrite parts of it, I'll post the full thing here)

The end of life as I knew it started on my first day of high school. I know, fitting right?


I'll add more later :P

Edited by mediator7, 28 September 2011 - 08:51 PM.

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#7 Gee{or}jah

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 09:42 PM

I tend to jump right in, and find something catchy, different and slightly weird to start off. I had one story, that began with:

So this is what I would look like dead.


Normally it's the first thing I start with, funny that huh? But my best ones come when the story isn't planned in my head already.

Also I deviate between having 'prologues' and just having a first sentence. Depends how I feel the story should start.

Most of the time I like to start my story with a lighter note, but I have had some stories that have began darker or in a less cheerful tone.

I think that the best ones come out of nowhere, and that aren't forced. But if it suits the story, and draws me in, I am a happy camper. Well, reader.

Georgia:)
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#8 24moon100

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 09:35 PM

Oh goodness. Looks like yall all seem to like the thought and dialogue stuff. Too bad I suck at it. I always have to paint the picture before I make it come to life. I wish I could just write the first thing that came to mind but its hard from me to make it flow into something.

So I take it scenery isn't the popular choice of many. Not that my feelings are hurt :) I want to learn how to become better at the other ways too. :)
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#9 Dramagirl221

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 04:28 PM

I think it's hard to know if you have the perfect beginning till later in the story. I used to be really good at beginnings, but now it's harder.

Here are some beginnings!

The strangest things happen on perfectly normal days.


Another story started with a poem, supposedly written by one of the character's in the story. The first sentence was then:

You wouldn’t think someone who wore the same socks for a week would care so much about how many chips were in the potato chips bag.



I heard the thump before I felt it. It was kind of like that whole sound travels slower than light, thing, except reversed, in a sense. I probably heard the front of the ship hitting it, before it affected me.



In the richest part of Manhattan, away from the hubbub of the city and the roughness of the country, there is a place, and if you drive for a long while, you will reach that place.



When Tina finally found me, an accident occurred.


A story from two different POV's beginnings are:

Why is it that I always seem to get bad news on a beautiful day?


and

I've always thought of myself as a pretty likeable person


(the second one from the perspective of a completely self absorbed conceited person)

I stared in horror at the large staircase ahead of me. 24 steps awaited my feet, at the end of them a large crowd of people.


Sydnee’s life was full of Crisis’s. But that was okay, because Sydnee loved to help. That’s what it would say if my life was a book. And it’d be right.


Dear Friends,
I’m calling you friends, because I’m really hoping that’s what you are. It would suck if you turned out to be my enemies, because I have enough of those right now. So I’m calling you friends, if for no other reason than to feel like I’m not a complete and utter failure.


OKAY. I'll stop now. As you can see, I start wayyyy too many stories.

Also, I noticed I usually start with telling. I've been really wanting to start with dialogue since I started writing, but so far, an opportunity hasn't come up.

I've always liked when people start with dialogue, or action, or at least a line that catches my attention. But this is annoying when EVERY SINGLE BOOK STARTS THAT WAY.

(I'm sorry, I'm reading The Immortals series by Alyson Noel right now, and I just have a lot of anger towards it, including how ever single book in the series starts with a line of dialogue)


Whether I write in 1st person, 3rd, or even 2nd depends on the story, although I usually write in 1st. I just love being able to get inside the character's thoughts and emotions.
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