PATH FINDER ENGLISH

Writing a Good Introduction

The introduction is one of the most important parts of a story. It is the first thing that your reader sees and if it is not fascinating enough, you will most likely lose the interest of the reader. A common way of starting a story is to write about how the main character wakes up to begin his or her day. But this way of starting a story has been so overused and common that the reader expects the rest of the story to be as boring. Hence, this article will highlight three ways to make your introduction stand out.

1. Scene-setting

This is one of the most familiar ways of starting a story but if done well, is able to set up the general atmosphere at the beginning of the story. To set a scene, we can describe two things:

  • The place where the story mainly takes place

To describe something well, one tip is to “show, not tell.” Rather than tell your reader that the story takes place in a wet market, you can use your 5 senses (see, smell, touch, hear and taste) to illustrate a wet market.

  • Characters of your story

To introduce your characters to your story, you can also adopt the “show, not tell” method. If one of the characters has a bad temper, you can write some of his common behaviours, (e.g. raising his voice easily, slamming the table) instead of simply writing that he has a bad temper.

2. Starting with a conflict

The conflict/dilemma of a story is usually the most exciting part because the reader is not sure what is going to happen next. Hence, by starting your story with the conflict, it makes the reader to want to know what happens next and what happened prior to the conflict. For example, you can start your story with an introduction like this:

Marianne stood rooted to the ground as she witnessed Peter lying on the floor motionless, with blood flowing from his mouth. She wanted to scream but no sound came out of her mouth. A few weeks ago, nobody could have predicted that events would lead to this moment.

After this introduction, you can recount what had happened prior so that your reader is filled in.

3. The first-person narration

A first-person narration would require you to write as if you are the main character. By writing as the main character, the reader is immediately introduced to the thoughts of the main character of the story.

Example:

I could not believe I was back at school during the school holidays. This is certainly the fault of Ms Perry! How could she punish me this way just because I pointed out in class how her hair looked strange!

These are just some of the ways in which you can write your introductions. Always try to switch the way of writing or even mix them together to create an interesting and attention-grabbing introduction.

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