The sixth and final part in my series of how to open a short story and grab your reader’s interest looks at introducing your readers to your main character and making them care for that character. This guarantees they’ll become instantly involved in your story. Here are some examples:
* Lizzie looked at the big, balding man, her lower lip trembling. An adult would have known she wouldn’t make it to the stairs in time. She knew really but still she tried, the scream catching in her throat as hands grabbed her.
* “Are you ok, Jamilla?” Shirley asks, stopping her filing for a moment and looking straight at me.
I nod my head. Blink a tear away. Force a smile. Shirley starts filing again. How can I tell her? How can I find the words to say how I really feel?
* ‘Oh bother,’ Joyce said, as the car clunked and juddered. A car horn honked behind her and Joyce battled to control the vehicle.
She pulled into the side of the road and switched the engine off. The car seemed to sigh in relief and Joyce sat gripping the steering wheel. What should she do now? All around her cars weaved by, their drivers oblivious to Joyce’s poor little car. Perhaps if she sat there long enough, someone would stop and help her.
See how you feel for each of the four characters and how you want to read on and make sure they’re ok. Now come up with some heart-wrenching story openers of your own!