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  • Maureen Larter


Once upon a time on a dark and stormy night, it was the best of times, and the worst of times.

Well, that got rid of most of the hackneyed and well-known beginnings of novels.

One of the difficulties when writing any story, book or article is that very first sentence.

Trying to hook your readers so they continue to read. Wanting them to be enthusiastic about reading your words.

Beginnings are the hardest thing to write when you have a story in your mind. Of course the middle and the end aren’t much easier.

The beginning should pique your reader's interest and yet tell in a few words what your story is about. The middle shows the story and the ending should leave the reader satisfied that all the loose ends are tied in a pretty, if unexpected, bow.

So how do some writers begin?

Often some snippet of conversation from the main character of the book is the way to go. Others give an opening of atmosphere, such as the stormy night approach. Others use intrigue, as in the strange beginning of ‘Tale of Two cities’ by Dickens.

Of course, anything you write should be interesting. After all I can write about 'nothing' and still maintain interest. That was the presumption behind 'Seinfield' the series - the television show about nothing!

I offered to write for the Killabakh web-page. That means I've got to come up with something every couple of months.

We can discuss the weather - damn it's been wet lately!

We can talk about plants and animals - have you seen the bulls that escaped onto the road - or the poor wallabies have been hungry and eaten all my vegies in the garden. The fox must have been starving - loved the flavour of my chickens!

Of course, we can discuss the merits of planting out our paddocks, or getting rid of weed trees and thistles.

There is so much to discuss that finding a place to start is always difficult:

Wait tho', I think I've got a perfect place and topic to write about :-

It was a dark and stormy night.....

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