The Do’s and Don’t’s of Story Beginnings

Hey, guys, and welcome to another Tween Fiction Girl post! Even though I’ve only ever finished two or three stories (GOOD stories, like the kind that other humans can read, that is) I’ve started to write many, many more than that. I have a whole folder on my computer devoted to stories and ideas. Even though few of these make it past Chapter 2, there’s one part that’s written in every book: the beginning.

While climaxes and action – maybe even endings – are way more fun to write, the beginning of the story may just be the most important part of every book or story that’s ever been written down. Every book is different, of course, but there’s a few things that every beginning must do.
– They must draw the reader into the story. If your beginning is stale or boring, the reader will struggle to get through it, and they’ll almost definitely lose hope and stop reading.
– They must give the reader necessary information about the premise of the story. Try to describe your main characters, but don’t go into TOO much detail; endless words about every thread of everything the character is wearing and every detail about every aspect of their body may be nice for you to imagine, but no one wants to read that. Don’t go into the extreme, either – give the reader some information about the surroundings of the main character, or it’ll be difficult to get into the mood of the book.
– They must introduce the mood of the story. Getting the reader to keep reading and telling them what’s happening around them is a great start, but giving them all the details of the world isn’t enough to get your story started. Tell them what they need to know about the story – the characters, the problem, the culture surrounding the setting. Is this a sad story, or a happy story? Scary, or funny? Make sure that’s clear early on.

Of course, beginnings can change. While you’re writing the rest of the story, all the beginning has to do is get you involved. As long as you won’t lose interest, it’s great. For now.

But, after the first draft of the story is written, you’ll likely want to go back and change it. Imagine it from the point of view of someone who’s just getting to know the world you’ve created. Is there information about the characters that doesn’t fit in with what the rest of the story says, or maybe it should be revealed later? Does it seem boring and droning, or does it leap into the action without enough setup at the beginning? If something seems wrong, fix it.

Of course, it’s not a good idea to jump straight from writing the ending of the book to writing the beginning. Let it sit for a little while first. If you’re still in the mood that writing the ending put you in, wait a little while. If your book starts out happy and winds up sad, you want to make sure that you’re capable of writing an actually happy beginning before jumping into it. Make sure the mood of your story flows, or the beginning will seem as out of place as it did if there were flaws in the actual writing of it.

As with any part of the story, make sure the grammar is accurate and readable. Vary the length of your sentences. Add some short ones here and there, or put a long one every paragraph or so. It’ll make the wording seem more natural and easy to understand, thus letting your reader get through it more easily.

If your story’s beginning meets these recommendations, then congratulations! You’re well on your way to writing the world’s next bestseller. Keep going!!

Remember, if you want to see a TFG post about a specific subject, you can always suggest one here. As always, thanks so much for reading!!!

~ Summer

Tips and Pointers on Making Your Own Movies

Hey, guys! I thought of this post when I was looking at my friend’s comment on Animal Jam: Bringing Back the Beta. A few years ago, we made a movie with her toy horses called “Secrets of Equestria”. Looking back on it, it was ridiculous, but it helped me learn what I liked in a homemade movie.
First of all, plan out your scenes. We ended up with more than three takes of the first scene, and one of them towards the end was more than twenty minutes long. It will also help the dialogue be less “Hey, what’s up” and more “We have to go save the world from the evil snowmen!!” Okay, I totally made the evil snowmen up, but you get the idea.
Second, arrange the places well. If I’m not clear, two true examples of this from SoE are when a horse named Ashley stuck her butt at the camera at an angle so that it aimed right up the manufacturer hole under her tail and when my friend accidentally put her knee in front of the camera so you couldn’t see anything else. Not kidding. A plastic horse’s privates aren’t exactly what you want to see in a movie.
Third, keep your characters ready! In “Secrets of Equestria”, there’s a five-minute scene where everyone is screaming a character’s name that got lost. The character wasn’t just lost; we actually lost the horse we were using. The other two tips are completely irrelevant if you don’t follow this one. A script isn’t going to do you any good if you can’t find the character to say it!
This goes for movies about humans, too. Keep your costumes on hand at all times. Although this one is a little more geared toward movies about dolls or objects, but it’s still useful for everything else.

Thanks for reading, you guys are so cool!!

Summer 😛

P.S. If you guys want me to, I can tell you the story of “Secrets of Equestria”. It’s decent, I guess, but it’s mostly just funny.