Sue Burke (mount_oregano) wrote,
Sue Burke

Go Ahead — Write This Story: Open without credits

You can learn a lot about storytelling from the movies — but some of those lessons do not apply to written works. In particular, movies have traditionally started slowly, sometimes showing scenery or general background activities, like the heroine driving a car. But what’s really happening is the showing of the opening credits, and movie-makers don’t want footage that will compete with the names of the actors and director for the viewer’s attention. In written fiction, you want to engage the reader’s attention from the first paragraph, if possible from the first sentence, maybe even from the first word.

If you need a fast-starting story idea, here are a few:

• This is a hard SF short story about the possibility that stone artifacts from a lost civilization have sentience.

• This is a traditional horror story in which the spirits of those who were dissatisfied with their final hours as mortals try to unite to find peace.

• This is a sibling rivalry story about a photojournalist documenting the Second Dustbowl who is accepted into a tribe of Wyoming Bedouin.

— Sue Burke

Tags: writing ideas

  • Translating poetry: a thorny problem

    Here's a brief article by me about difficulties of translating poetry and ways to deal with them: compensation, paraphrase, adaptation, and word…

  • Off to MIRcon

    I’ll be at MIRcon this weekend, Spain’s 31st national science fiction, fantasy, and horror convention, also called HispaCon.…

  • My panels at Loncon 3

    I’ll be at Loncon 3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention in London, and among other fun stuff, I’ll moderate two panels. I think I got to be a…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.