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I was wondering if you could help me start of my first book with a bang. As in having and gripping start so I can interest readers. It is a fantasy and/or mythology with Old Norse characters with a superhero type person in it and I've written my plot from beginning to ending but I don't know how to start the actual book. Please help!


Hello Mary:

If you have the plot of your book all worked out, there should be a big bang of a climax just before the end. That's where you want to start. If you want to immediately engage your readers, your hero should be in the tightest spot of his life, back against the wall, staring death in the face, against impossible odds. Describe the scene, introduce the hero by name and maybe two other characters besides the protagonist (no names for these)hovering around the edges. Just when it looks like the hero will lose, stop.

Now you must start the backstory. If you have charted events or made an outline, the place where you should start should be clear. It may be his birth, or later in his life. This too, must be compelling - he's in a jam again, but not nearly as tense as the beginning. This is your chance to demonstrate some of the hero's characteristics (bravery, courage, dedication, modesty, etc.), which you will develop throughout the book.

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And thank you for writing!  

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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