Introductions to Narratives
Four dazzling ways to start a narrative work
1. Start with the Setting
Give the reader a taste of where the story is located.
"The swell was gently lifting and lowering the boat. My breathing grew slower, falling into step with the creaking of the hull, until I could no longer tell the difference between the faint rhythmic motion of the cabin and the sensation of filling and emptying my lungs." — Greg Egan, "Oceanic"
"The weather was cool in Afghanistan, compared to the 125-degree heat in Kuwait. I remember thinking that I should have brought an extra poncho liner because the nights would be cold. I had no idea that being cold would soon be the least of my worries." --Christopher Butler, "49 Hours in Afghanistan"
2. BAM! Go for action or conflict
"Hala is running for class when her cell phone rings. She slows to take it from her pocket, glances at the screen: UNKNOWN CALLER." — Kij Johnson, "Names for Water"
"In the month before my 18th birthday, my first retina specialist, a man who delivered his diagnoses with a manner like napalm, informed me that I would be blind within a few years." --Ryan Nighton, "Out of Sight"
4. Mystifying Statement
"You ask me if I can forgive myself? I can forgive myself for many things." — Neil Gaiman, "The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains..."
"I remember the night I became a goddess." — Ian McDonald, "The Little Goddess"