I named my blog Books & Lemonade because I think one of the most relaxing things is sitting outside reading a good book and drinking some ice-cold lemonade ;)

Friday, September 24, 2010

How to...

So, some of you may know that I also love love love to write. I am currently working on a book that is 180 pages at 12-point Times New Roman font. But that's besides the point at the moment. I haven't done a post in awhile because I have been busy with school and other things, but it's Friday so I took the time to post this How To on...

How to Start A Story!

Now, there is a slight catch. Once you start a story... Try your darnedest to finish it! I know, we've all started stories that we never finished. But, if you finish one, that means you've accomplished something AND then you can go back and edit it and see how much better it can be. So anyway, I'll give you some tips on how to start a story... You just have to try and finish it!

TIP #1: Start your story in the middle. Yeah, that sounds crazy. But it captures the reader's attention. I mean, if the first sentence of a book is "No, he can't be dead!" than you definitely wanna know who he is and if and when he died and so on. One of my absolute favorite things about starting books in the middle is that you can have "flashback scenes" as I like to call them. Remember in Just Listen where you go through about half the book wondering what "Shhh, Annabel, it's just me" means? That drove me nuts! But it also captured my attention and I wanted to know what happened. Also, by starting in the middle you have more opportunities to explain things as you go. Books are boring if they explain everything at the beginning, leaving you with no questions. Good books make you ask questions!
TIP #2: Start your story with a good character name. Okay, so the very first sentence doesn't have to say the protagonist's name. But do introduce your character(s) within the first chapter. Now, when I say a "good character name" I mean a character name that describes your character. It's sometimes ironically funny to give a big, burly character the name Tiny or whatever, but I like to have character names that really fit my character's personality. First, you can either search for names that mean a certain trait you are looking for, OR you can go onto Baby Names and if you have a name in mind, find out what it means. Keep in mind that it's best to have unique character names. Yeah, Mary or Bill are fine names, but don't you want your reader raving about what an interesting name the main character has? Baby Names has tons of unusual names so find one that suits your character and your taste. Characters with good, unique names will be memorable! 
TIP #3: Start your story on an experience. How can you write about something if you have no idea what it's about? I find that it helps to incorporate things that have really happened to you into your writing. It gives the story a really authentic feel and you might even have a cool twist to add to it. For example, everyone knows the story about a backstabbing best friend. And that's probably happened to most of us. So write about that exactly how it happened to you, because I guarantee it will be different from the person sitting next to you. Every little detail counts, down to where it happened. Now, I'm not saying everything has to be something based off of your life. All I'm saying is it might be good to start with something you know. That will make it much less difficult to ease into the rest of the story, making up things as you go and adding bits of personal experiences here and there. Stories based on real events can be the starting point for a great realistic fiction novel! 

ATTENTION: These are all just suggestions. You can feel free to try them if you like or you don't have to. I just know that when I have a good idea but not quite a good start, I just remember these and my story starts to come together a lot faster. And, these may not work for everyone. But it couldn't hurt to try if you're stuck. Because being stuck is not the best feeling in the world to an aspiring author. 

Hope these encourage you to do some writing, I know I will be! Happy reading, and writing! :)


  1. Great advice! I agree with you and I'm always being told by family members to just finish my story even if it sucks! Because you're right -- it's a sense of accomplishment.

  2. This is such an amazing how to post, my love!! :)