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  • Trace Hunter

Those First Few Words

Well there you sit, staring at the computer or writing pad. You want to start that next novel or short story but those first few words, the ones that make or break, the ones that bring flow to the start of the story – elude you.

This happens every time I sit and start a new novel. How do I overcome it?

There are a few ways, one is starting with what I call “the sacrificial character” this is a character whom you learn a little about and then they’re gone, usually eliminated by the villain. Their roll is essential because it leads you into the villain, and of course, it allows you to have a starting point.

Another is to just dive right in, bring your main character, your hero or heroine right into the novel, have them in a situation that might or might not have anything to do with the novel. This allows you not only a place to start but if you’re like me, you “feel” your character and know what they think or do or will do.

Then of course...start with a description of a place or time, this is classic and still works if done right. Set the scene, set the mood.

My personal favorite?

The sacrificial character, I like starting off with this because to me, the villain is more important than any other character, if you have a top-notch villain then you have story. They make the main character believable, more heroic and helps convey an emotion that you carry through the entire novel.

So what is your best way to start a novel or story?

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