Good Story Starters for Your Next Bestseller

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good story starters for your next bestseller

Good story starters are important because they help capture the reader’s attention and set the tone for the rest of the story. The first few lines of a story can often make or break a reader’s decision to continue reading. 

A strong and engaging opening can draw the reader in and make them want to keep reading, while a weak or uninteresting opening can turn the reader off and make them lose interest in the story.

In addition, a good story starter can also help establish the setting, introduce the main characters, and establish the tone and genre of the story. It can give the reader a sense of what they can expect from the story and create a sense of curiosity or anticipation that will keep them engaged.

Overall, a good story starter is essential for hooking the reader and keeping them interested in the story.

How to Start a Good Story?

I always say that there’s no universal way of being creative, and that also applies here. There are so many ways you can go about writing the introductory part of your story. All I can do is give you tips for starting a good story, and here are some of them:

Begin with action or dialogue

This can help immediately draw the reader into the story.

He sneaked into the room and pulled a Ballester–Molina on the stranger. “If you touch it, you’re getting one between your eyes.”

Start with an interesting or unusual setting

This can help set the stage for the rest of the story and make it more immersive for the reader.

The cabin was open, and there was a hacksaw on the wall with fresh blood dripping.

Introduce the main character early 

This can help the reader get a sense of who the story is about and become invested early in the story. You can have them introduce themselves.

The picture I hold in my hand is nostalgic. The young woman on the far left, Gisselle Thomas, is me—twenty years ago.

Pose a question or problem 

This can help create a sense of mystery or conflict that the reader will want to see resolved.

Did the mugger always follow her around? Was he even a mugger or something else?

Use descriptive language 

This can help the reader visualize the setting and characters, making the story more engaging.

Overall, the key to starting a good story is to give them a reason to keep reading.

Good Story Starter Examples for your new book
Good Story Starter Examples

Good Story Starter Examples

Here are a few ideas for good story starters:

General Story Starters

  1. “As the sun set over the city, I knew I only had one chance to escape.”
  2. “What she didn’t know was, when she opened the door to the abandoned house, there would be something waiting for her inside.”
  3. “The last thing they expected to find on my hike through the forest was a mysterious cave. I never believed in ghosts, but that was about to change.”
  4. “The letter arrived on a day that was already filled with bad news.”
  5. “It was supposed to be a simple heist, but things quickly went wrong.”
  6. “When the power went out, we realized we were not alone in the dark.”

Good Horror Story Starters

Here are a few ideas for good horror story starters:

  1. “The sound of the creaking door woke her from my sleep, but when I opened her eyes, no one was there.”
  2. “I should have never gone down into the basement. Now, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to leave.”
  3. “I thought I was alone in the house until I heard footsteps coming closer and closer.”
  4. “The old mirror had always creeped me out, but I never expected it to show me things I couldn’t explain.”
  5. “He thought the abandoned asylum was just a rumor until he saw the flickering light in one of the windows.”
  6. “The more they read the ancient book, the more they realized that no one was in control of their destiny.”
  7. “I heard the whispers late at night, but I never expected to see the ghost standing at the foot of my bed.”
  8. “The reflection in the window wasn’t my own, but it was too late to turn back.”
  9. “I knew something was wrong the moment I stepped into the old house. It was like the walls were alive.”
  10. “I thought I was dreaming when I saw the monster, but the screams were all too real.”

 Good Romance Story Starters

Here are a few ideas for good romance story starters:

  1. “I knew I was in trouble the moment I laid eyes on her.”
  2. “I never expected to fall in love with my best friend. It was supposed to be a casual fling, but things quickly turned serious.”
  3. “I never expected to fall for the one person who was off-limits.”
  4. “They were complete strangers until a twist of fate brought them together.”
  5. “I never thought I’d find love again until I met her.”
  6. “It was supposed to be a summer fling, but when the leaves started to fall, she knew she couldn’t let go.”
Good Romance Story Starters
a book about romance

Good Fantasy Story Starters

Here are a few ideas for good fantasy story starters:

  1. “When he touched the ancient amulet, he was transported to a magical world unlike any he’d ever seen.”
  2. “I never believed in dragons until one spoke to me in my dreams.”
  3. “She always thought she was a normal teenager until she discovered she was a witch.”
  4. “The portal to the fairy realm opened, and I stepped through, not knowing what to expect.”
  5. “The moment I held the cursed sword, I knew I was meant for greatness.”
  6. “There was no single breath of him being chosen as the one to save the world, but when the prophecy was revealed, everything changed.”
  7. “The forest was full of secrets, and I was determined to uncover them all.”
  8. “I always thought magic was just a myth until I met a talking cat who proved me wrong.”
  9. “IShe was a loner. She always thought she was alone in the world until she discovered she was part of a secret society of magic users.”

Good Sci-fi Story Starters

Here are a few ideas for good sci-fi story starters:

  1. “She stumbled upon dead Fiona. There and then, she realized that she was not a normal girl. She was a clone.”
  2. “The moment I stepped through the portal, I knew I was in a different world.”
  3. “The rebellion had come knocking, and I knew I couldn’t say no.”
  4. “I never expected to be the one to discover the cure for the deadly virus, but when I did, I made myself a lot of barbarian enemies.”
  5. “The moment I put on the virtual reality headset, I was transported to a world beyond my wildest dreams.”
  6. “I always thought time travel was just a theory until I found myself living in the past.”
  7. “As soon as I activated the prototype time machine, I found myself on the front lines of an intergalactic war.”
Good Sci-fi Story Starters
A book about Sci-fi

Good Story Starters for Mystery

Here are a few ideas for good mystery story starters:

  1. “The moment he saw the body, he knew he had to find out what happened.”
  2. “She had been drawn into a web of deceit and intrigue, but when the evidence pointed to her, she knew she had to find the killer on her own.”
  3. “When I found the mysterious key, I never expected to be drawn into a murder investigation, I had to find out who did it.”
  4. “She saw the stranger at the café. She knew he was up to no good. But she couldn’t have guessed the atrocities he had committed.”
  5. “It was a decade-old mystery, but she couldn’t resist. So she went about following the clues,”
  6. “There was blood on the floor, something was very wrong and I had to find out.”

Good Story Starters for Thriller

Here are a few ideas for good thriller story starters:

  1. “There was a knock on the door. That could be nothing but trouble.”
  2. ” I discovered the dark secret my family had been hiding, and knew that my days as an ordinary person were over.”
  3. “He walked into the garage at the wrong time and got caught up in a conspiracy. He had seen the evidence, but he could not choose a side.”
  4. “A couple of months ago there was a break-in at my office. I saw one of the suspects’ faces. Now I’m staring at the same face but he’s a murder victim.”

Final Words on Good Story Starters

The beginning must be well crafted. After all, it is critical because it sets the stage for the rest of the story and helps capture the reader’s attention. It’s the reader’s first impression of the story, and it can either hook them in or turn them off.

A well-crafted beginning helps establish the setting, introduce the main characters, and establish the tone and genre of the story. It gives the reader a sense of what they can expect from the story and creates a sense of curiosity or anticipation that will keep them engaged.

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Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories. She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.