Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How to Start A Short Story or Novel

How should a story start?

 After looking at a bunch of excellent short stories and some novels, an excellent formula is: a character, an action, and a thing that is a symbol. 


"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice." Gabriel García Márquez (trans. Gregory Rabassa) One Hundred Years of Solitude
"I am an invisible man." Ralph Ellison Invisible Man
"Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." Virginia Woolf Mrs. Dalloway 
"We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall." Louise Erdrich Tracks 
"Vaughan died yesterday in his last car-crash" .J. G. Ballard Crash 

My favorite: 

"He—for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it—was in the act of slicing at the head of a Moor which swung from the rafters." Virginia Woolf, Orlando 

It's not the only way to start a story, but it is an effective one. 

Thanks for reading!
Here’s two interesting 99c short stories for you to read: (More fiction coming soon.)
Nag Is Hindi for Cobra (All Formats)

1 comment:

J.A. Beard said...

The first two are two of my favorite novels. :)