Story Starters
for Fiction Writers

If you're looking for "story starters" because you're trying to figure out how to start your story you'll either be shocked or pleasantly surprised.

Because unless you've already finished at least the first draft of your story you shouldn't be looking for Story Starters.

Yes, I know that's a radical statement and completely counter intuitive but it's likely the best piece of writing advice you'll get all day.

You see, if you're an aspiring fiction writer you're likely going about the process all backwards.

Stories must be worked out from back to front, not front to back.

Let me explain.

The beginning of the story, first chapter, and certainly the first page can't be written well until you've figured out how exactly the story ends.

That means you must start with the "Event" before you can figure out the "Introduction" and certainly the "Enabling Incident".

But I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

Because, you very likely have no idea what I'm talking about.

But it's not your fault. The concepts of Introduction, Enabling Incident and Event are known and understood by only a very small fraction or fiction writers and they aren't talking.

But give me a moment and I'll put you on the right track.

Chances are you've got some "idea" for a story.

And you're trying to figure out how to get started.

The problem is that you've already skipped over three processes that you should do first before you try to start "composing" your story. What I call Story Composition is what most people refer to as "writing". And right there they've gone of the rails. Because writing a novel that sells is not just a single process of "writing" but a multi-step process which I illuminate in detail as "The Story Engine".

Here is the actual sequence of processes the would-be storyteller must work through in order to write a salable manuscript.

  1. Story Conception
  2. Story Design
  3. Story Research
  4. Story Composition
The problem is that aspiring writers have no such set of processes and so they try to jump from "idea" straight to composition. And when that fails they feel that it was the fault of, or lack of, creative writing ideas.

The truth is, the fault lies in lack of process.

You see, a story must be conceived, designed and researched BEFORE it cane be effectively composed.

Each of the above are individual processes; collectively they all add up to one giant process which I call "The Story Engine".

Click here to find out more about "The Story Engine".

It's an engine because it drives and guides the creation of an effective piece of fiction that will sell. We call these works of fiction "stories". Our readers call them novels, short stories or poems.

Stories are very specific things, they work a certain way, and are designed and executed to accomplish an exact purpose.

Most of what you've been told about stories and most of what you think you know about how they are conceived, designed, and composed is probably false.

Starting with the very idea of Story Starters.

When you should be starting with the Event and working backwards and laying out all 5 Movements that constitute an effective novel.

  1. Introduction
  2. First Incident
  3. Second Incident
  4. Event
  5. Conclusion

Your story starter would be the first line of the first page.

Which you wouldn't know how to formulate until you've worked out the Climax of the Event because everything in the story, starting with that first paragraph, must point to this Climax.

Each of the above are the individual movements of a long format story such as a novel or screenplay. And each one serves a specific purpose and function in the narrative.

You must understand the structure of a story and you must understand the function that each movement performs to be able to design an effective story that sells.

Click here to find out more about "The Story Engine".


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