THERE WILL be a story opening contest on this blog. Details forthcoming.
Two questions: Why a Story Opening Contest? What defines a good story opening?
Music composers from Beethoven to the Beatles understood the value of a dynamic opening. In this oversaturated cultural age, it might be the single most important key to literature’s survival, its ability to compete.
A story opening needs to be dynamic and attractive in itself—the best written part of the work. (See Fitzgerald’s “Great Gatsby.”) More, it needs to lay the groundwork for the rest of the tale—to present at least one thread or idea to be developed later—and to keep the reader reading!
The best story openings are striking from the first sentence. Remember Stephen Crane? "None of them knew the color of the sky." ("The Open Boat.") Or Stevenson: "Did you ever remark that door?" ("The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.")