wikiHow to Make a Capturing Introduction for a Book

Two Methods:Getting StartedSample Book Introduction

Are you a writer? Do you (and others) think your stories are good, but just aren't captured by the introduction? Maybe your stories are horribly bad, but only because you don't have a capturing introduction. This article can help.

Getting Started

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    Be mysterious. Here's an example:
    • "The man stood over the high hills, looking over the dark ocean. 'The mission,' he thought to himself. But he didn't move. Ding...ding...ding. His phone rang. Answering it, he said, "What do you want?" "The package is late, Mordred." Then the line went dead." See? Introductions like that capture readers because...well...the mystery!
    • Even if it's not a mystery story, that's a good introduction. Why? Because, even with that kind of beginning, maybe Mordred is actually a mail man who's taking a break from his job. His conscience is nagging at him to finish the mail route, but he doesn't. Then a tenant calls him, saying his VERY important package is late. Nothing mysterious about that! But with that kind of introduction, readers will keep reading!
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    If you don't follow step one, be open. Maybe a mysterious introduction just didn't work for your kind of story. You could go with this kind: "Adam walked happily up the high hills, looking over the night time ocean. His hair, unusually long for a male, was long and golden. He was clearly very strong, and was a handsome boy. Ring-ring-ring! His phone rang. He answered it, saying,'Hi Aaron! I was just thinking--Mom said I could have a couple of my friends over, when they could. Wanna come Oh, you're grounded? Your mom just let you call me to tell me that? Ah, alright. When will you be ungrounded? Alright, tomorrow it is. See ya' then!' Then Aaron hung up the phone.' Same setting, same general structure, but different from the other one. Why? Because you introduced your characters. You described them. Using words like "night time" as opposed to "dark" can change an introduction too.
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    Introduce some kind of action to get the story going. For example: "Adam walked calmly home. He opened the door, got on the floor, and everybody walked the dinosaur! Just kidding. He opened the door, and was shocked at what he saw. His mother, with a butcher knife, was viciously stabbing a large chunk of deer meat. 'Mom!' Adam said. 'What in Toilet-Paper's name are you DOING?!' 'Uhh... stabbing this chunk of meat?' 'Why?' 'Dunno! Something just possessed me to do it.' 'Mom, you were never like that before.' 'Nope!' Then his mom walked out the back door, like nothing had ever happened. But still, he felt the presence of an entity.' There's some action, getting the story along. Well, that's how I would continue an OPEN introduction. The mysterious introduction comes next. "Mordred stepped down the hill angrily. Down below, waiting for him, was a large, white truck. He got inside reluctantly, and began his mail route again. He made sure the man who had called him got his important package. He went around, double-checking that everyone had gotten their mail. Everyone had except one couple. Mordred shrugged, thinking they had gone on vacation. Then he realized their car was still in the driveway, and that they had been there on his first time around. His heart sank--something had happened to them--he just knew it!--and he had to find out what.
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    Relax, but not too much. Let your story get a bit easier, but don't make it too boring. Even though you have a good introduction, the rest of your story could stink. A capturing introduction won't do much good if what comes after it is something no reader would read under any circumstances.

Sample Book Introduction

Sample Book Introduction

Tips

  • Have fun. Lose yourself writing the introduction. Pour yourself into it.
  • Take criticism. Look over it carefully and listen to what it says. It might exploit some important plot holes or some flaws.
  • Try basing some story introductions off dreams. Those are generally interesting.
  • You can find a prompt online and use it as the introduction.

Warnings

  • Don't lay on mystery too thick, or make things too open at the beginning. Too much mystery means it can't be unravelled quickly (but then, that might be your goal). Making things too open leaves nothing left to discover, and that makes for a boring story.

Article Info

Categories: Better Writing