You can read Part 1
and 2 on the blog
Here's Part 3
Written by Charles Opara
Just follow your flow of ideas, and don’t worry about what your analytical head
thinks until the flow has stopped (some say this has something to do with the
right and the left side of our brains).
Write where your strength lies.
For instance, some writers are good at describing scenes:
places, things or people (they never lack the words), others are good at
writing by taking the guise of a character (from within character--feelings and
all) so that the reader feels he's inside the character looking out. So if you
want to start by describing the
weather, there is nothing lame or amateur about it if you do it well. Taking
note of the weather might be in line with the character or the situation in
your opening. If your story starts in bad weather or is about a weatherman, who
would fault you (or call you amateur) for mentioning the weather? If it’s about
an old person, then, it’s also perfectly normal to have him or her think of or
make reference to the weather. I don’t know whether there is anything like an
amateur beginning. Maybe you mean clichéd beginning (amateur ways have more to
do with sentence structure or writing techniques, and not your ideas.
Regardless, your story and the best way to tell it, as well as your strength as
a writer, should supersede all other considerations on how your story should
For me, whenever I am starting a novel by imagining a remote vista, an uncommon
place. I often need to take a time-out or concentrate hard, sometimes I keep trying
for days. I’ve found that a little research helps me to fill up the blank pages
I sometimes leave with the hope of coming back to.
I find writing from the mind of a character much easier (It's my comfort zone.
All I have to do is get inside the mind of the character and take it from
Charles Opara writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry. He lives and works in Port Harcourt
Labels: Advice Column, STARTING A STORY PART 1, Writing advice