The latest episode of the Writing Show pays attention to that universal question of how to start a story. The title suggests it is only about short stories and that is indeed the main subject, but as a couple of side notes the ideas are applied to novels as well. The pointers are the same, but for a short story the beginning is more critical, for want of a context and a longer tolerance span of the reader.
Short stories are seldom introduced, are not delivered with a cover and a 'blurb', such as novels, but rather appear in newspapers and magazines. The reader is much less prepared to get hooked and therefore, the challenge to give a good opening for a short story is bigger. In two sentences or so, the trigger for the story must be settled. The reader must be drawn into the perspective and into the conflict or whatever tension plays a part.
Host Paula B. interviews writers Melissa Palladino and Randall Brown and they refer to couple of lists in other sources, out of which they rapidly mention some tips, not all. Of all these, some are elaborated upon, most are not. So, this podcast is indicative, but can only serve to make a beginning to your search, if you are looking for new ways to being your stories, short or not. As a tip of the iceberg, it is very nicely done.
More Writing Show on this blog:
More Jean Tennant,
Getting Published with Janice Ballenger,
Getting Published with Mark Leslie,
Psychological Aspects of Writing,
Getting published with Jean Tennant.