25 Ways to Start a Story

Because getting started is sometimes the hardest part of any project, here are 25 ways to start a story that writers can use to prompt their next tale.
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Because getting started is sometimes the hardest part of any project, here are 25 ways to start a story that writers can use to prompt their next tale.

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After more than a two decades of working with the Writer's Digest writing community, I realize there are two things I love about my job more than all others: Writing and helping other people write! With that in mind, I've decided to share 25 ways to start a story that writers can use as writing prompts.

(10 Ways to Start Your Story Better.)

I know that getting started is often the hardest part. So I've provided 25 possible starting places. All you need to do now is take it from there, whether that involves revealing the source of that faint noise or examining the contents of an unmarked package. So do your part and get writing!

Dive into the world of writing and learn all 12 steps needed to complete a first draft. In this writing workshop you will tackle the steps to writing a book, learn effective writing techniques along the way, and of course, begin writing your first draft.

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25 Ways to Start a Story

  1. Man is running from someone or something in the moonlight.
  2. Woman is searching for someone or something in a thick fog.
  3. A loud noise startles a person awake.
  4. Narrator confesses something outrageous.
  5. An unmarked package is left on someone's porch.
  6. Two lovers explore an abandoned island.
  7. A woman wakes up in a ditch.
  8. Children playing at a park make a grisly discovery.
  9. A person observes a car go off the road.
  10. Someone hears a faint noise and—against their better judgment—goes to investigate.
  11. A man hangs off a rooftop several stories in the air.
  12. Narrator reveals a long hidden regret.
  13. An elderly woman finds a letter she'd forgotten she had.
  14. A child accepts a dare.
  15. Two people searching for a geocache find something they never expected.
  16. A student notices something in the hallway that everyone else fails to see.
  17. Someone fishing alone sees something no one is likely to believe.
  18. Narrator reveals his or her greatest fear.
  19. An elderly man goes into the attic to make sure something he hid is still there.
  20. Two people meet at a science fiction and fantasy convention.
  21. Narrator explains why someone else can't be trusted.
  22. Someone appears to be trying to avoid detection but is doing a lousy job of it.
  23. Two people meet at a place that they thought was only known to them.
  24. Narrator says he or she is in love.
  25. Narrator says he or she will never love again.

Ensure your manuscript skips the slush pile and lands on the desk of an acquisitions editor or literary agent and — get a 2nd Draft critique! When you send in at least 50 consecutive pages of your manuscript for review, you'll get an overall evaluation on your manuscript's strengths and weaknesses.

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