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From the Blog: Tips on Writing the Opening Paragraph of Your First Story

Stuck on your opening? Don’t worry! Once upon a time young writer Ollie gave us a list of tips to help us write our first page stress-free. For more articles like this, explore the NaNoWriMo blog!

Writing the first page can be complicated. After all, it is the first part that readers read. If it’s monotonous, they might not read it. The start is an essential part of your story, but it can take a while to write an opening page. Today, I have found some tips and tricks on writing your first page.

1. List some ideas out.

Listing some ideas is a helpful tool to use when we are writing, and an even better way to help plan. List some ideas. Are there any special catchphrases you want to use? What's happening in your story at the beginning? What is your opening sentence? How do you want to start your story? You can try to list out some ideas with these questions, plus many other ones that may pop up in your head!

2. Plan an outline.

If lists aren’t your thing, you might want to use an outline. Printing out one or drawing your own is a good idea. They don’t have to be fancy; you only need them to plan your first pages. Remember, if you are writing your first draft, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Most drafts have a lot of mistakes and parts that don’t make sense. The first draft is never perfect.

3. Be a panster!

A panster is someone who doesn’t plan their stories. You don’t have to plan the beginning of your story. I never do, but that is okay. Set a 20-minute timer. Write the first pages of your story. They do not have to be perfect or even have excellent grammar. Remember, you are only trying to write a draft. This is not going to be the actual first page. After the timer rings, relax. Then look at your story so far. Is it going in the direction you want it to go? Doesn’t it follow the ideas you had in mind? If yes, you are set to go!

4. You can fix mistakes later.

Remember, your first draft is never perfect. 

  • If your first page is scrambling with mistakes, it’s okay. My stories end up with many grammar mistakes in the first draft. The best thing you can do is edit and revise. Then, you will have a perfect story in no time! 
  • If your story is starting a bit crumbly and weird, you can always rewrite it. But, remember, you can’t spend two years on the first page of a story. I learned that the hard way. 
  • Wait to edit and revise until after you are finished the book. That way, you know you have finished it, but you can also see if the book flows well. 

Those are my tips and tricks for writing the opening paragraphs of a story!

Stay safe and keep writing!

photo of Teddy

Ollie likes to read many books, but her favorite book series is Harry Potter. She is currently writing her first musical. She likes to write a variety of things, from poems to short stories. She is currently reading Physik by Angie Sage.

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