How to Start a Story Info, Tips, and Prompts— Writers are constantly thinking up new ideas for their next great work. Whether it’s the fledgling idea for a novel or the concept for a new poem that perfectly expresses their feelings, writers are always brainstorming. However, for writers of all ages and across all genres, the hardest part can be getting started.
Learning how to start a story is an art form in and of itself. It is a skill that needs to be practiced and developed over the course of time. Even the most seasoned and experienced writers can benefit from story starters and prompts that help get their creative juices flowing.
Whether they are writing professionally or simply exploring a new hobby, writers can practice their craft by working with a variety of introduction and story starter techniques. From anecdotal ledes to descriptive narrations that set the scene, there are many different ways to start a story, and it’s important to know that there is no definitive, correct way to begin.
In addition to learning how to start a story themselves, writers, parents and teachers can help use their own skills and experiences to teach young people how to start their next story.
Tips for Helping Students Learn How to Start a Story
Teachers and parents alike need to work together in order to help students of all ages learn how to start their stories. These tips and hints can help people encourage young writers to explore new ideas and writing techniques:
- Encourage students to find a space where they feel comfortable, relaxed, and ready to write. In the classroom settings, teachers may want to create a writing workshop space, which is a special nook in the classroom where students can go to write freely. In the home environment, parents can make sure that students have a quiet workspace where they can journal, complete their school assignments and write stories just for fun.
- Work directly with students and help them brainstorm. For young writers, it is important that they understand how to come up with writing ideas on their own. When they discover a topic or a scenario that they are passionate about, they will be more likely to enjoy the writing process. By brainstorming alongside them, you can help them narrow down the idea that they want to focus on, which makes it easier for them to start their story.
- Provide young writers with story starters or short story ideas that are age-appropriate, entertaining, and engaging. This is particularly beneficial for students who are still learning how to brainstorm. Story starters can help them uncover an idea that they want to explore.
- Make sure that students have an opportunity to hone basic writing skills. Writing plays a pivotal role in nearly every subject and in every stage of education. Students of all ages need to practice their writing skills in order to succeed.
10 Story Starter Prompts for Writers
Writers of all ages and skill levels will find that these prompts can help them learn how to start a story:
- It all started about 10 years ago. Well, 10 years and 3 months ago to be exact. I’ll never forget, because the day started perfectly normal.
- Nobody tells you just how loud the sound of silence is. At that moment, I felt like I could hear everything and nothing at the same time.
- She looked at her daughter and saw pure joy in her eyes. The adventure was just about to begin.
- They had just arrived at summer camp, and they were a little overwhelmed. They had three months ahead of them, and the two friends knew that this was the summer that would define their friendship for the rest of their lives.
- The sound of drums beat steadily in the distance. Life in town went on as normal, but everyone knew that war was coming. In the 18th century, the pounding of drums always meant that war was on the doorstep.
- Life is full of surprises, but I certainly wasn’t expecting this one.
- This was a moment I had been dreaming about my entire life. If I took the next step, everything that I had ever wanted would start to fall into place. Yet, I was hesitating.
- At just nine years old, my friends and I worried about nothing. All we wanted to do was go exploring in the nearby park together. We wanted to ride bikes and play basketball. We never thought that we would discover a hidden portal together in the woods behind the school. We never knew we would be faced with the adult decisions that followed our discovery.
- As the fireworks sparkled in the sky above, I knew that I was quickly falling in love.
- It was time to turn the page and end the chapter. In fact, it was really time to close the book entirely. I simply had to move on.
Once a writer knows the best way to start writing and begin their story, the rest often quickly falls into place. Whether the writer is a child is a young student learning how to write fiction for the first time or an adult writer with plenty of experience who is faced with a case of writer’s block, story starters and prompts can be valuable tools. Once inspiration hits, some writers like to sketch out a loose outline so that their first draft has a trajectory to follow.
The opening line of a story can set the tone for what will happen next. The first paragraphs hooks the reader in: you can introduce who the main character is and establish what point of view the story is told from. (Feel free to play with stories in the first person versus the third person to see how the emotion of the story changes!) You can even start a story of with a bit of dialogue!
Story Writing Prompts and Resources
- Story Starter Sentences
- 55 Story Writing Prompts for Kids
- 44 Good Writing Ideas for Students
- Fun Story Starters for Kids
- Point of View in Literacy
Whether you’re writing a suspense story with some unexpected plot twists, a thriller or mystery with tons of character development, or a funny tale with a lot of momentum, we hope you have fun writing your own stories.
Of course, once you get the story started, you need to always keep on writing — the best is yet to come!
Until next time, write on…
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