Starting Your Story

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Okay, so, picture this.

You've got this story in your head. For the purposes of this chapter, the story is about a milk carton that gets stranded on the island of Madagascar after being a menace to the zoo. However, as Milk Carton befriends a bunch of animals on the island, it accidentally kills a mother centipede. Now, it is Milk Carton's responsibility to raise the baby centipedes.


So, you've got your idea. You've got your writing equipment. Your house is at the perfect temperature, you've eaten some rose petals, performed a demonic ritual, and you've just licked a volcano. Then, it's time. It's time to write your story. 

But how the hell do you start?

I'm going to say that there is no correct way to start a story. Can you imagine if everyone started their story the same way? It could get a bit boring! And while some methods are frowned upon, such as the dream sequence and the 'I woke up' or the ever-so-classic Wattpad 'My alarm clock rang', there really is no incorrect way to start your story.

After all, it is your story. You have your vision.

But... some openings are certainly more gripping than others? Consider:

My alarm clock rang and I got out of bed.

And now consider:

Today is the day I commit arson.

And so, in other words, if you're looking for a way to start your story, this chapter is here to (hopefully) give you some ideas.

1. Once upon a time, there was the once upon a time.

In other words, cliché opening lines! However, some clichés are classics, and for some scenarios, this could be what you need. If you're doing a retelling of a Disney folktale, for example, then it's not too weird to do something like "once upon a time". Just make sure the context is right for this.

I'll aim to include an example of each opening! So:

Once upon a time, there was a milk carton named Milk Carton.

2. Let me tell you all a story about a mouse name Anecdote.

The anecdote is, quite simply, a story.

That's probably confusing.

Basically, an anecdote is like telling a short, quick little story. For example, your friend asks you how you're doing, and you tell her that you're super embarrassed. When she says why, you retell the story about how you just kicked a baby tiger. There! You've just told an anecdote! As a story opening, it could look like this:

When Milk Carton had been a young milk carton, she had wanted to fly. Every day, she would practise flapping her little flaps, hovering higher and higher by the day. Then, on one fateful day, she had climbed an ancient and towering tree, and leapt into the skies.

Except, she didn't fly.

She plummeted. Down, down, and down.

From that day and on, crying as she clutched onto a broken arm, she had sworn never to go near a tree again.

Little did she know she was about to be surrounded by them.

3. Lights! Camera! Action!

Another idea is to start in the brink of the action! It can be a thrilling and gripping way to start your story.

Milk Carton plunged their sword into the goose's diaper.

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