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And I was just about to use, "It was a dark, and stormy night' too. Shucks...

 

In all seriousness, it would depend on the type of story, because those opening could fit for some. Like a satire piece, or a comedic story. Otherwise, there's a reason why "It was a dark, and stormy night" is regarded as a bad opener.

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Before replying to this topic I checked my stories to make sure none of them began with a cliché. :lol:

They didn't, but most of them don't start off with anything eye catching either. But that's OK, then readers will get the right idea about the level of story telling. ;) 

 

I can understand your reaction, Carlos. On the other hand, if the story is so bad, then it's almost a blessing to have them start with those words, because we as readers can run away immediately and not waste any more time.

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@Headstall

 

I agree rookies should be given latitude. My problem arises when a popular author with a few stories behind them and a slate of editors and beta readers appears to stagnate. I realize some of it is me cringing at things I may have done myself but once Mann slaps my hand once or twice I try not to repeat the circumstances leading to said slapping. :P

 

 

@Timothy M.

 

I don't always do it but I like when a story or chapter starts off with dialogue. A good line of dialogue can capture my imagination better than ten paragraphs of narrative. Maybe I've been weaned on TV but dialogue is essential for me to enjoy a story. More than once, I've abandoned something by decent authors after reading explanations and internal struggles ad nauseam. Yawn.

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42 minutes ago, BlindAmbition said:

 

Good article! Thank you.

 

I will strive to emulate #7 in my next book. Story and each chapter.

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30 minutes ago, Daddydavek said:

This topic made me laugh as I thought of an old story I wrote several years ago and never posted.  

 

It starts like this:

 

It really was a dark and stormy summer night in late June.

 

 

I actually like that, Dave. It has a tongue-in-cheek feel to it that makes it interesting. Amazing what one word can accomplish.

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16 minutes ago, Mikiesboy said:

Why not approach them and inquire or make a suggestion @Carlos Hazday...maybe it would help?

 

I have and I do. A couple of authors have listed me as editor making me cringe. Commas and I are not on speaking terms and I know just enough to be dangerous in other areas. I have no business editing but I'll gladly share what others have taught me.

 

Not to rehash the conversation about how to comment/review and how to react to less than stellar ones; there are some people who think their poop doesn't stink and scream to high heaven when their work is not praised. Those fools I tend to ignore and often abandon whatever I was reading of theirs.

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1 hour ago, Carlos Hazday said:

 

I have and I do. A couple of authors have listed me as editor making me cringe. Commas and I are not on speaking terms and I know just enough to be dangerous in other areas. I have no business editing but I'll gladly share what others have taught me.

 

Not to rehash the conversation about how to comment/review and how to react to less than stellar ones; there are some people who think their poop doesn't stink and scream to high heaven when their work is not praised. Those fools I tend to ignore and often abandon whatever I was reading of theirs.

I can edit pretty well for content...but i am right there with you with commas.

 

You're right some dont want to know. Smart ones listen. I like to read smart stuff. Which reminds me..im back a.ch with you!

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2 hours ago, Carlos Hazday said:

I don't always do it but I like when a story or chapter starts off with dialogue

Dialogue is often there right at the start for me. Not necessarily the very first thing, but soon after. I rarely start with any description. In fact off site, I've been taken to task for not 'placing' my stories properly (admittedly this was in respect of microfiction which hasn't been seen here). 

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14 minutes ago, Mikiesboy said:

I can edit pretty well for content...but i am right there with you with commas.

 

You're right some dont want to know. Smart ones listen. I like to read smart stuff. Which reminds me..im back a.ch with you!

 

Last Friday was a transition between the Florida vacation with Harley and the beginning of the wedding ones. This Friday, for the first time the date on the calendar matches the one in the chapter. That means I wrote in the future! Kinda strange the story's timeline has caught up with real life.

 

Oh, and the coming chapter does start with a short line of dialogue LOL

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16 minutes ago, northie said:

Dialogue is often there right at the start for me. Not necessarily the very first thing, but soon after. I rarely start with any description. In fact off site, I've been taken to task for not 'placing' my stories properly (admittedly this was in respect of microfiction which hasn't been seen here). 

 

I tend to go overboard with my 'placing' but readers seem to like my descriptions of places the characters visit. Even there, I rely on dialogue to describe what my boys are seeing and doing most of the time. Why describe a chapel, like I did in my last chapter, when I can have CJ talk about it after saying he would consider getting married in it. Of course, it's not all conversation. I try to mix it up. I think someone said a good ratio is close to 50-50.

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7 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

 

I tend to go overboard with my 'placing' but readers seem to like my descriptions of places the characters visit. Even there, I rely on dialogue to describe what my boys are seeing and doing most of the time. Why describe a chapel, like I did in my last chapter, when I can have CJ talk about it after saying he would consider getting married in it. Of course, it's not all conversation. I try to mix it up. I think someone said a good ratio is close to 50-50.

You do well with dialogue/description. Enough description for this boy to visualize. Not too much that I’m getting a college lecture. Enough dialogue to put me in whoever’s shoes.

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