Welcome to The Bump House

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

7 Ready Dwarfs

 Jacob M. Appel wrote another highlighted WD article; 'Better Starts for Better Stories'. Of course, these aren't hard & fast, like most writing rules. But, they are chock full of great info & direction.  Here goes.

Timeless Rule - "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." Jane Austen 'Pride & Prejudice'

Then, the story works to prove the proposition. With this premise, the male MC had best be on the hunt.

Just the Facts - "I sat on a large rock on a hillside and fought my rope restraints." Robert Gleason & Junius Podrug 'Gary Jennings' Apocalypse 2012'

Simple. To the point. And, a great hook to keep the reader reading.

Better in Twos - "As Mickey Stillson stared at the gun in his hand, he absentmindedly reached up and adjusted the fake ear that was his entire disguise and wondered how a born-again Christian like himself had wound up in the middle of a bank robbery." Noah Boyd 'The Bricklayer'

This actually introduces two & then two more. Expected-unexpected, repeat. The power of the words is increased as each pair is revealed.

Simple, yet Significant - "Everything has a beginning." Luis M. Rocha 'The Holy Bullet'

It is simple, octo-syllabic & packed with promise. Yes, it is a universal truth - beginning at the beginning.

Testing - "Sunday, another dictionary cuddling Sunday." Patti Struble 'Cross Words'

Shameless, I know. But, it is the demonstration of voice that I'm going for. The opening line introduces the voice that has to lead the charge.

Moody - "Something moved beneath the kitchen wallpaper." Rhodi Hawk 'A Twisted Ladder'

Ominous, maybe even a little freaky. Definitely cringe-worthy. If the wallpaper moves, something more terrible best be afoot.

Picture Frames - "Once upon a time, in a land far, far away...."

Okay, it's Shrek, but it fits. It leads the reader to an expectation of bygone days & an unexplored region of make-believe.

The list here represents only 7 possibilities. As a writer, each must find his/her own.

Happy Writing,



  1. As if I don't have enough to do. Now you have me thinking I should go look at the first sentences of all my WIPs.

  2. Kay,
    I'm so sorry. I know, I read your blog this morning. You are on quite the mission of late!! Breathe, let it ferment & then see how ya feel.

  3. I like the options especially the testing one. ;) I like openings that are full of surprises and twists.

  4. Clarissa,
    Why thank you my dear!! I too am on the twisty-turny quest.
    Thanks for the comment.