Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Killer Beginnings

By Darvell Hunt

“I believed if I could save the injured bird, my mother wouldn’t die from cancer. It was an irrational belief back then and it still is, but that didn’t stop me from believing it.”

“I helped kill a man while serving my two-year LDS mission. I didn’t even try to help save him when I had the chance—and I did have that chance, but I passed it up. So much for the parable of the good Samaritan. So much for loving your neighbor.”

The above paragraphs are the beginning sentences from two of my stories. I’m not sure if they are great beginnings, but I think they’re pretty good. I feel they at least prompt the reader to read further.

Recently, one of my writing groups has been talking a lot about great beginnings. There’s a lot of material out there nowadays with the Internet, television, video games, and other such contenders for our attention, that it’s so hard to attract people’s attention to books. Our modern-day stories must have a great hook if we expect anybody to read further. Before we can even attract readers, however, we have to attract an editor at a publishing house. Great beginnings can help do both of these things.

Now I just need to write some magnificent middles and some excellent endings!


Annette Lyon said...

Those ARE great beginnings. And I've read the second one in Irreantum. I didn't remember that it was yours! Very cool. Beginnings are my nemesis.

Darvell Hunt said...

I'm flattered that you remembered my story, Annette. Thanks for the comment.

I'm now trying to get a publisher for the LDS thriller novel from which this beginning was taken. The excerpt that was published in the Irreantum is only the start of a story has haunted my mind for years until I could finally get it out of my head and onto paper.

With any luck, I can soon get it into the hands--and the minds--of other people, too.