Wednesday, May 2, 2012
The Magnificent Seven?
I stumbled across this article by Charlie Jane Anders last year, and I've been pondering it ever since. Obviously, there isn't a whole lot under the sun that's new, but I like to think I'm able to stretch my creative wings and start my short fiction any unique way I like. Even so, there appear to be seven ways that most stories start out:
1. Set the Scene (Boring, but we're all guilty of it.)
2. Establish the Conflict (Drop the reader in medias res.)
3. Mystify (Huh? What's going on? Oooh, now I get it.)
4. 3rd-person Narrator Speaks (The chatty, omniscient type)
5. 1st-person Narrator Speaks (The intimate, reflective type)
6. Quotation (The more profound, the better)
7. Puzzle (Establish the conflict AND mystify your reader -- it's a 2fer!)
What do you think? Should Dialogue or Establish the Characters be added to the list, or are they already covered? I guess Establish the Conflict would take care of both...
My openings vary from story to story and genre to genre, but I can easily identify the ones I use the most. Do you find yourself leaning toward a few of these methods, or have you managed to come up with something entirely different?