Top Tip Of The Week

Don’t waffle!

My top tips have revolved around short story openings over the past couple of weeks. This week builds on this. Remember that your opening few paragraphs need to grab your reader’s attention straight away. It’s no use filling them with lots of waffle. Your reader will switch off and move to another story e.g.:

Sarah was thirty. She worked in a hairdressers and every night she went to the pub for a glass of her favourite wine.  Sarah lived in a small village with her mum and dad, two brothers, two dogs and a parrot. She liked reading glossy magazines and devoured all the latest celebrity gossip.

One Saturday evening, Sarah went to the pub. She’d had a hard day at work, cutting six customers’ hair…

Bored yet? I’m sure you’re actually wondering if there’s any story to this. Sarah may end up being a serial killer, have an affair with a celebrity or be kidnapped by aliens! But any reader will have given up long before they reach the juicy story.  So cut the waffle!

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2 Responses to Top Tip Of The Week

  1. MJ Brodeck says:

    Great post! I don’t think I could ever be as patient as Steve King though:
    “When I’m starting a book, I compose in bed before I go to sleep. I will lie there in the dark and think. I’ll try to write a paragraph. An opening paragraph. And over a period of weeks and months and even years, I’ll word and reword it until I’m happy with what I’ve got. If I can get that first paragraph right, I’ll know I can do the book..”

    MJ 🙂

  2. Excellent point! 😀

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