How do you usually start your chapters/stories?

Personally, I’m a fan of getting right into the action (ish)
I don’t do the “hey this is me” or “A girl sat in her house”
I actually use waking up a lot lol, but I’m working on it XD
My stories usually start with something really mundane in tone but also unusual in setting. A child leaning on prison bars, waiting for something. An old lady standing on a cliff ledge. A traveler struggling through a storm. Stuff like that.

Here are two samples from my own first paragraphs at the start of chapters

Whatever the figure had done to me, I didn’t dream once during my time in sleep’s respite. I wanted nothing more than to return to that soft darkness as the day woke me, but the light was persistent, and sleep was weak. Soon after, my eyes opened, pain flaring afresh in my wounds. I shivered as the damp, cold earth bit through my thin shirt, before struggling into a sitting position. It was easier than it had been when I first woke in my cell, needless to say, however the pain that accompanied the action removed all of my warm and fuzzy feelings - not that there were many.

I’m not quite sure what happened, or how it did. I only know that something did happen, and I had no control over it. How could I, when I received no warning or sign? Or are these just things I tell myself. Things I say to stave off the guilt that would haunt me for the rest of my life. Guilt that will never leave, no matter how far I run. It’s funny how things work.


  • What about you guys?
  • Could you give an example of a story/chapter opener you’ve completed?
  • Do you have any tips for starting chapters or stories?

yes I love getting right into action :sunglasses: why beat around the bush when the readers came for the actual action rather than a boring 5-paragraph story on how the MC prepared for the day :sob:

I love starting with one-liners or at least short lines that are strange and mysterious which I hope poses a question into the reader’s head like “why would that be” or just like “how does this even-”

In this very recent story I’m trying to write, I wrote something that looks like a beginning to a love story but is actually just a metaphor or something to the actual action. So like I wrote something along the lines of “If you’ve found your one true love, you do everything just to get it” and then followed with “Just like the men of [this ship], they stop at nothing to get their one true love—treasure” or something

I don’t even remember :star_struck: but yeah it osunded like that- just me being ashamed because furst draft sucks you know what I’m saying

uhhh get into the action immediately, or at least the nearest you can :eyes: I love short opening paragraphs and definitely one-liners; they work really good as hooks!

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I do this. Sorta. Ok, my first story started off with a shocker to keep the person reading.


It started off with the main character’s death.

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With words…

Nah, usually with a setting description or a character speaking.

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Pfft, nice. Snarky.

Snarky? Why?

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Your words comment. That was funny.

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Oooooh… HA. Thanks.

I prefer getting right into the action of the story. Forget long, flowery descriptions. I don’t care about how the sun rays looked on the curtains of the character’s room. I care about showing the character’s personality, first and foremost.

Miss Understood started with a sort of monologue. “We all know that popular girl from high school… but what happens when she becomes an adult?”

There’s No Accounting for Taste starts with Ellie, the main character, ordering a pizza and instead of getting straight to the point, she tells her whole life story to the pizza delivery woman. “I want to order a pizza— well, two actually, because my mom’s working late, and I’m taking care of my brothers. One is nine and the other is six. I don’t know how to cook yet, so that’s why I’m ordering a pizza.” This isn’t verbatim, but it’s more or less the first paragraph. I did this to let the reader get to know Ellie through her actions and words. She doesn’t know how to cook, and the story is about her enrolling in a culinary school, and she talks way too much, especially when she’s nervous.

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