>I found a new blog to love. Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors

I was going through their blog, finding tidbits of info I enjoyed and came across this post. It’s a must read for every author.

Today I started on a new book. I’m waiting till the new year to continue to send out query letters, so in the meantime I need to keep busy. I actually started to jot down ideas in a notebook I have – a new thing for me to do. I think I’ll work on my outline for the book first, then start to write. For my last 2 novels I was a panster (wrote by the seat of my pants) but this time I want to see if having an outline will actually help me.

But I love beginnings. I have a dozen or more beginnings started for ideas saved as documents. I love creating them, finding that bit of ‘magic’ to start off with. This time is no different. So when I came across this post you can imagine how I ‘zeroed’ in.  I strongly suggest you go over to the blog yourself and take a peak and follow … but before you do … I decided to highlight a few ideas that stood out to me.

Don’t open before the beginning. Don’t dump your backstory—however vital to the plot—into your reader’s lap right away. No one wants to hear someone’s life story the moment after they meet them.(very true) 

Open with characters, preferably the protagonist. Even the most plot-driven tales inevitably boil down to characters. The personalities that inhabit your stories are what will connect with readers. If you fail to connect with them right off the bat, you can cram all the action you want into your opening, but the intensity and the drama will still fall flat. 

Open with conflict. No conflict, no story. Conflict keeps the pages turning, and turning pages are nowhere more important than in the beginning. 

Open with something that makes the reader ask a question.Unanswered questions fuel intrigue; intrigue keeps the reader’s interest. 

Set the tone. Your beginning needs to set the stage for the inevitable denouement—without, of course, giving it away.