Starting A Story Part 3

You can read Part 1 and 2 on the blog

Here’s Part 3

Written by Charles Opara

Just follow your flow of ideas, and don’t worry about what your analytical head thinks until the flow has stopped (some say this has something to do with the right and the left side of our brains).

Write where your strength lies.

For instance, some writers are good at describing scenes: places, things or people (they never lack the words), others are good at writing by taking the guise of a character (from within character–feelings and all) so that the reader feels he’s inside the character looking out. So if you want to start by describing the
weather, there is nothing lame or amateur about it if you do it well. Taking note of the weather might be in line with the character or the situation in your opening. If your story starts in bad weather or is about a weatherman, who would fault you (or call you amateur) for mentioning the weather? If it’s about an old person, then, it’s also perfectly normal to have him or her think of or make reference to the weather. I don’t know whether there is anything like an amateur beginning. Maybe you mean clichéd beginning (amateur ways have more to do with sentence structure or writing techniques, and not your ideas.

Regardless, your story and the best way to tell it, as well as your strength as a writer, should supersede all other considerations on how your story should open.

For me, whenever I am starting a novel by imagining a remote vista, an uncommon place. I often need to take a time-out or concentrate hard, sometimes I keep trying for days. I’ve found that a little research helps me to fill up the blank pages I sometimes leave with the hope of coming back to.

I find writing from the mind of a character much easier (It’s my comfort zone. All I have to do is get inside the mind of the character and take it from there.)

Charles Opara writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry. He lives and works in Port Harcourt 

Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam

Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam writes prose fiction and creative non-fiction. She is the founder of creativewritingnews.com. Her first novella, Finding Love Again was published by Ankara Press. Her second novella, The Heiress' Bodyguard was shortlisted for the Saraba Manuscript Awards. She currently works as content marketer for various online businesses. You can follow her at @cwritingnws.

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