There are countless articles on how to write the opening paragraphs of a story. To sum it up, the opening paragraphs should hook or invite the reader to visit the world of the story. The imagery conveyed should paint a picture that stirs a reader’s curiosity, wonder, and emotions.
I’m all for achieving effect, so I’ll spend time revising the opening paragraphs until I’m satisfied that the reader will want to read more. I say satisfied because there are umpteen ways to begin a story—time permitting. Seeing that authors have their own writing styles and preferences, the decision regarding the content can also be quite subjective. I prefer to keep it simple and set the tone of the story as best I can in the first paragraphs.
If you haven’t yet read my work, here are excerpts from the opening paragraphs of my first three novels in the Megan Scott/Michael Elliott Mystery series as told from Megan’s point of view:
“If I’d known I would be visiting the morgue just weeks after I saw my husband sitting with Pam at Pueblo’s Café, I’d have gone over to say hello that sunny Monday afternoon in July and maybe change destiny. But I was late for a five o’clock appointment.” (False Impressions – Book #1)
“There were times when I wished I could change the future. This was one of them. The cheerful family atmosphere around the kitchen table obscured the sequence of ominous events about to unfold, and I couldn’t do a thing about it.” (Fatal Whispers – Book #2)
“Our windshield wipers were losing the battle in fending off the barrage of ice pellets… The weather amplified the hesitation I’d had about taking this trip… It was a picturesque scene but a threatening one should temperatures plunge and the sudden storm intensify as weather forecasters now predicted. I cringed with the realization that we’d be spending the next two nights here.” (Icy Silence – Book #3)
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m currently working on Dark Deeds, my next book in the mystery series. I can’t reveal too many details, though I can tell you that the story involves the hunt for an infamous killer in a decades-old cold case. I’ll have more information in next month’s blog post. Stay tuned!
To learn more about the riveting adventures of ghostwriter Megan Scott and investigative reporter Michael Elliott in this popular mystery series, click on the Books tab. If you’re new to this website, you can join my Newsletter to get blog posts delivered directly to your email address and be the first to find out about new book releases.