Tuesday, 2 April 2013

B is for Beginnings

Once upon a time there was the beginning of a story... Ever since I started studying creative writing it was drummed into me that beginnings are incredibly important. If the beginning doesn't interest you then you won't keep reading.

I'm a journalist by profession, and beginnings are vital for my work as well. The difference between the two types of writing are quite marked though, and that's especially obvious in the beginnings. In newspapers you have to get the main gist of the story in the first two paragraphs. In fiction, if you did that it would make for quite a bland story and not be as interesting.

In a way, I see newspaper writing as putting in the bare bones of a story. An article could tell you that a man was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation after his house caught fire. What it won't tell you is how the man escaped, what started the fire, the heat of the blaze, how the smoke smelled, or how the man felt - scared, gasping for breath, relief when he gets out, and so on.

My challenge from today's post is to take a newspaper story and flesh is out to make it into a short story.


  1. I'm a novelist, so beginnings are extremely important. They must be exciting and engaging while wholly believable.

  2. Have enjoyed A and B!
    Please keep it coming. I'm very much a learner...
    AtoZ has taught me so much already ;)

  3. Very interesting idea! Love this!

  4. Agreed. Newspaper articles have to start with the main point. Short stories have to start with a huge hook. Love the idea of using newspaper articles for short story ideas.

    p.s. struggling to get past your captcha screen to post this!

    Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

  5. I've got rid of the captcha screen now, sorry about that!