Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Great beginnings

While I was cruising the Entertainment Weekly site this morning, a headline popped out at me. It was called the Thirty Best Movie Opening Scenes. So of course being the curious cat that I am, I decided to investigate. Most of the movies I had seen before and would have to agree that the opening hooked you immediately and you were on board for the rest of the movie. So it had me thinking about beginnings of books and how important it is to "hook" the reader right from the get go.

When I teach young children about writing, I devote a bunch of lessons on "good beginnings". I teach them about the "dialogue beginning", the "setting beginning", and the "action beginning". I spend a lot of time talking to them about the "hook". What I find ironic is that while I am all about decomposing writing for children and having them go step by step into a finished piece, I don't think about author's craft at all while I am actually writing. I just right. So am I a hypocrite? Am I doing children a disservice by teaching writing in a technical way? Or am I giving them the tools, so that when they do become accomplished writers, all of these techniques are in their writing repertoire that can be unconsciously called upon at a moments notice.

Do you think about craft while you write, or edit, or revise? Or not at all?

That's all for this morning, I have an absolutely killer headache.

Peace out,


  1. I don't really give it a thought. I just write. :)
    Hope the headache goes away.


  2. No. Not a hyporcite. But you, as writer, just DO it...write...and it's built-in for you now.

    Good post!

  3. Naw, I don't think much about craft while writing either. Maybe I do some while editing, but I think it's still important to learn it and get it ingrained in your head so maybe you can unconsciously pour what you've learned through your words when you do write.