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WEbook Forums > WEbook's Writing Workshop > 911 Writer's Block:  Tips to Rev your Engine > Starting the first sentence is a big blown mind.
A discussion to stoke your writing fire.
Posted: 4/22/2017 7:15 AM PDT
If that doesn't work with your story, then you should be rethinking your plot =/
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Posted: 4/22/2017 7:14 AM PDT
It was half past noon when the first body floated to the surface.
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Posted: 8/25/2013 4:14 PM PDT

Hmm, If there are a long block of text, it bores the reader, Let the character do the talking..

He couldn't watch as the shore line faded.  This is showing the reader.

" Damn that's fading fast."
The awkward silence

" Don't worry you will see them again.

Another pause

" W-When this is war mate,".


Sounds better does it.

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Posted: 4/1/2013 11:44 PM PDT
Hello Michael DOH!!!!! We have to start somewhere, Mate. This website and these fora have been down for a while now, so all I'm trying to do is pick up where we left off. You will note there are not many new posts to reply to so I'm simply replying to those, new or old, that interest me. Your advice to work from an outline is reasonable and many writers do. Frederick Forsyth says a novel usually takes him three years to write and the first full year is taken up with an outline. Some other writers' outlines can run to over 300 pages. Personally I have never had any success working with outlines, even for short stories, so I set up a file I call 'Notes' and just, well, make notes. As I write and I think of where the story might go next, I add notes to this file. The good news is this process sometimes takes me to interesting places I hadn't thought of while planning a work. The bad news is this process sometimes leads me down murky corridors and I have to work very hard to emerge intact at the other end. I also think your idea about mind mapping makes sense, although in my experience, some folks work more effectively with brainstorming rather than mind mapping - mind mapping for the more right-brain type and brainstorming for the more left-brain type. And I question whether any kind of software will do the job but at the end of the day if it works for you, go for it. What matters in the end is if we all emerge with pieces of writing we're happy with. All the best with your writing. Warmest regards Riis
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Posted: 4/1/2013 4:59 PM PDT
I do love this... First of all congratulations on your decision to begin working on the piece, next step is to start writing it out. I see that you have received some great advice on how to proceed already, so I will not be redundant. I will however hopefully give you a few tips you can use to stay organized. First of all instead of writing blind I suggest writing out your plot in a general descriptive paragraph. I would include a starting point major events and the rough ending. Form there flesh it out in story board fashion going from one scene to the next in rough form of course. when that is done you will get a sense of the novel/story before you start. You will have that to keep the plot straight and avoid getting into dead ends or even going in the wrong direction. I must admit I wrote blind for years, that is to say I wrote my pieces from beginning to end. As a result I could never seem to finish anything over 10,000 words. and that was a miracle. I mostly wrote poetry. here is what helped me. This software does for you all the things I mentioned. They will not write the story for you but it will organize your work into manageable pieces and give you an clear and defined plot to work from. And the best part is they are 100% free software. Good luck and I hope this helps! ( freemind will help you to map out the plot) ywriter5 will orginize your work into scenes / chapters ect. P.S. The page has a ton of useful info. take a look and then if you find them useful, PASS IT ON! And if anyone does read this, YOU may find it useful in the future; to read the DATE of the post BEFORE you spend the time to reply...DOH!!!!! Really posted 5/15/2011!!!!!!
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Posted: 3/21/2013 1:43 PM PST
Hello Jenna See if you can encapsulate the plot in your first sentence: The last chapter of a thriller I've just completed is about the hero's saying goodbye to the girl and riding off into the sunset (they never, in fact, made it into the sack), so my first sentence is: 'It was time for Os to be on the move.' The plot is all about a man who was driven to suicide by paparazzi and the tabloids for something he didn't do. The first line of my Prologue is: 'William Bragg Stover, 'Bill' to his friends, former workmates, wife and children, died as the result of his highly inelastic collision with York flagstones below the West Front of the church.' This is easy to talk about but sometimes very hard to do well. When I'm really rolling I can produce almost 2000 words in a day - sometimes, but when I'm starting a new chapter I can spend an entire day on the opening paragraph or even that first, single sentence. Pull down some classics from your book shelf and look at how the masters did it. Think about Thornton Wilder's 'The Bridge of San Luis Rey': 'On Friday afternoon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in a Peru broke and precipitated five travellers into the gulf below.' So, see if you can describe the ferry ride - boring, tiresome and uncomfortable - in terms of what's going to happen to your heroine in the story. So, if your story is about her escaping from a boring, tiresome and uncomfortable life then your first line is spot on. I think you have the idea. I hope this helps. All the best with your writing. Warmest regards Riis
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Posted: 7/31/2011 2:15 PM PDT
If you're stuck, write some other part and come back to it. Maybe you'll get ideas as you write. You can: - describe what the water/sky/weather looks like, and what the island looks like as you approach it - describe the inside and outside of the ferry, and the other people there besides the two you mentioned - tell us why she's going there, what she's left behind, and what she expects in her future - how does she feel about going to this place and why - use senses as much as you can. What does it smell like? How bright is the sun? What can she feel?
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Posted: 5/15/2011 11:34 AM PDT
So, I've been focusing on this one plot I have had for months now. I decided to finally start writing it a couple days ago, by making the first page a letter. But now, I have no idea how to lead into the story. Basically, at the beginning, it's a goody-two shoes girl on a ferry, arriving on a Hawaiian island. Here's what I was thinking...? I've never been more thankful to get away from anything as much as that ferry. An hour and a half of someone's sleeping grandmother on my shoulder on one side, and a little kid using my thigh as a road for his Hot Wheels, on the other. What else could I do? Suggestions? Advice? :)
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