|Just like your day, |
your story needs a good start. :)
(Image: © Demid | Dreamstime.com)
My first paragraph was:
The floor creaked at the top of the stairs. Someone was coming down. Annie straightened her shoulders but didn't look up. She had almost positioned the Santa and reindeer on the top of the paper house, the last detail of her Christmas village.
When I finished reading, the first question I was asked was "What genre are you writing?"
Apparently, with the floor creaking and the mysterious person coming down the stairs, it felt ominous and mysterious to the others. It was interesting to me, because I hadn't thought about it like that (ah, the benefits of getting crits).
So, we chatted about a a few options and we came up with an alternate first paragraph, which is:
That's it. A name and a question mark in quotations.
I'm still debating this. I see the problems with my first opening, but I also see problems with the second one.
In the first option, the setting is introduced. You see the character, her activity and a bit of her behavior. You know someone else is coming. Does it raise questions? A few I suppose, but, based on the feedback, not the right questions.
In the second option, we do not know who is speaking (male, female, child, adult, etc). We do not know where they are. We know next to nothing. But, it is also very short, so perhaps a reader would be willing to stick it out and read the next line to find out a bit more information. On the other hand, the story is all about Annalisa - or Annie, as she prefers to be called - so in some ways, the opening line may be appropriate.
For reference, here are the first six sentences (so that bit of dialogue and the next 5 sentences):
Annie bit her lip. She didn't have to answer to 'Annalisa' any more. Nope - she was just plain old Annie.
Crap, he was coming downstairs. What did he want?
How do you feel about dialogue as the first line?