A number of you contacted me to say how much you enjoyed my ‘ABC Of Short Story Ideas’ and found it useful in helping you to come up with story ideas of your own. With that in mind, I thought I’d stick with fiction and start a new weekly series, ‘Fabulous First Few Words‘. As short story writers, you’ll already know the importance of hooking your reader’s interest in the opening paragraph but knowing it and achieving it can sometimes seems worlds apart.
Part one of this new series focuses on the effectiveness of dialogue as a story opener. Here are a couple of examples:
- “It was awful. Just awful. I can’t face her ever again,” Shona said, wiping her eyes with a tissue.
- “I hate you, Dad! You’ve ruined my life. Don’t ever come near me again.” Catherine ran from the room and slammed the door behind her. He’d gone too far this time. She’d never forgive him.
- “Oh dear, that will never do. I can see I’m going to have trouble with you, aren’t I?” the woman said, shoving her face in mine, her grin growing wider. I gulped. I was done for.
- “Murderer!” the voices echoed through the empty streets as the lamplight cast ugly shadows across the room.
Hopefully you found that all four story openings intrigued you and made you want to read on. Dialogue instantly injects pace and action to a story, which also makes the reader feel very much involved.