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The first lines always matter



Have you ever think about how your favorite stories begin?


The first lines that introduce us to the story have a complicated function: to be an invitation to readers to continue reading. Writers often find it hard to decide how to start our novels. A good way to find ideas for this is to pay attention to the first lines of our favorite books and/or writers.


There are many ways to start a novel or a story, but one thing they have in common is that the most memorable beginnings are the ones that say much more that we can notice at first sight.


Think about how J.M Barrie introduces us to his story "Peter Pan": "All children grow, except one." With a few words, not only manages to capture the attention and curiosity of the reader, but it presents the central plot of the story, and, indirectly, his character and the outcome. The same happens with the beginning of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: "It was a pleasure to burn". Four shocking words that invite the reader to continue reading.


Another iconic beginning is the one of "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen. "It is a world-renowned truth that a single man, who owns a great fortune, needs a wife." As in Peter Pan, the story begins telling the very heart of the plot and the author doesn't need large descriptions, or explanations of society, to present the conflict. But that is not all, these words manage to reflect the tone that will characterize the novel. The sarcasm and social criticism that are Austen's own are visible in just the first sentence.


Something similar can be found in Franz Kafka and his novel "La metamorfosis". "When Gregorio Samsa woke up one morning after a restless sleep, he found himself on his bed turned into a monstrous insect." Once again, the author brilliantly introduces both his protagonist and the conflict of the story, without needing great explanations or descriptions. The disturbing tone behind this introduction defines this story and will stay with the reader until the last page.


Another important characteristic of the first lines is to lay the foundations of the universe that is unfolding. In fantasy stories, which need a more detailed construction of the universe, we also find iconic beginnings that stand out for their simplicity but that say much more if they are carefully analyzed.


For example, the beginning of "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien says: "In a hole in the ground, lived a hobbit. Not a wet hole, dirty, disgusting, with the remains of worms and the smell of mud, nor a dry hole, naked and disgusting, with nothing to sit on or eat: it was a hole-hobbit, and that means comfort. " This introduction to the fantastic world of Tolkien not only presents the main character of the story (without any other detail but the fact that it is a hobbit), but describes, through the word comfort, their way of life. Those who have read the book will know that the trip that is narrated later, will be anything but comfortable and that is why the first paragraph will serve as a point of comparison between the life of the protagonist before and during his adventure.


A similar strategy uses J.K. Rowling to start the saga "Harry Potter". "Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, from number 4 Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal and very grateful for that. They were the last people one would expect to find involved in something strange or mysterious, because they did not accept that nonsense. " Establishing in this first paragraph the personality and way of life of the secondary characters, Harry's uncles, manages to capture the attention of the reader (since it presents some unusual characters in a fantasy story) and also prepares them for the fantastic event that will modify the "normality" of the Dursleys. There is no mention of magic in its early lines, but the possibility that strange and mysterious things may happen, despite the denial of the Dursleys.


Other authors such as Philip Pullman prefer a more direct start to the fantasy universe without giving great explanations. His trilogy "The Dark Matter" begins like this: "Lyra and her daemon crossed the dining room, whose light was dimmed at times, trying to keep to one side of it, out of the field of view of the kitchen." Through the opening paragraph he introduces us to the protagonists, Lyra and his daemon. He could stop to explain what a daemon is, but he does not. It is not the time to do it and, in a certain way, encourages the reader to continue reading to discover it. It is limited to continue the narrative establishing an action ("crossed the dining room") and making it clear that they do not want to be seen, allows the reader to deduce that it is an action that is not allowed. Again the mystery is behind the text.


Another function of the first lines of a story may be to anticipate the end. Gabriel García Márquez begins "One Hundred Years of Solitude" with these words: "Many years later, in front of the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía had to remember that remote afternoon when his father took him to see the ice." He uses the same technique to start "Chronicle of an announced death": "The day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at 5:30 in the morning to wait for the ship in which the bishop arrived." It is possible that knowing how a story will end is discouraging for some, but the author plays with the curiosity of the reader by posing an action after establishing the outcome, which invites us to continue reading until we discover if they really have to die in the end.


As you can see, a captivating beginning is, in short, the most direct entry door to attract the attention of the reader, and, in turn, lay the foundations of the universe and the tone that will characterize the narrative. Generating a good first impression through the first paragraph can be what distinguishes that story over others.


As writers we should not underestimate the influence of the first lines in the opinion of the readers and it is good to make an effort to start our narrative with impact.


What do you think? Have you notice the importance of the first lines? How your favorite stories begins?


Text by:

Flavia Menchaca

Ambassador

@ flavii_chan82

27 de Março de 2019 às 20:42 0 Denunciar Insira 1
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#NewWritingContest - From every day routine, an art

How would you explain the instructions to get out of bed every morning in an artistic and fun way? What words would you use? What resources would you add? Something so simple, but at the same time so complex. This is the moment when we want to exploit everyone's creativity. Therefore, we have opened the new contest of the month, which is called "From every day routine, an art". The mission is to write a short story - of 400 words maximum- with instructions on how to get out of bed each morning in a original way. The most creative and humorous text will be the winner.


This contest has been inspired by the famous writer Julio Cortázar who wrote: "Instructions on how to climb a staircase" in a very artistic way. If you need an example for your participation, you can read his work here.


Start date: March 15, 019

Fecha de cierre: April 10, 2019


How does the contest work?


1. You must write a short story with instructions on how to get out of bed every morning and publish it on your Inkspired profile. Make sure that the story is written in a creative and fun way, and that it contains a maximum of 400 words.

2. Once published, you can edit it until deadline.

3. The story must be published as a Short Story within the Humor category.

4. You must tag your story with the hashtag #Humor in the hashtags section.

5. The story must have a title, a proper cover and a brief description.

6. It must be unpublished and exclusive of Inkspired during the time of the contest

7. Once the contest is over, the story must remain published on the platform for a minimum of 6 months.

8. The contest will have a single winner. This will be announced from the third week of April.

9. The jury will be comprised by the editorial team of Inkspired, which includes Jackeline Vargas -Content Manager and Gin Les, leading ambassador. The winner's selection will be based on the creativity of the story, the writing style and the author's humor. Grammar will also be taken into account, as well as the respective fulfillment of the contest rules.

10. A minimum of 20 participants is required for the contest to be official.

11. To get additional points, just upload and share your story in one of your Social Networks (Instagram or Facebook) and tag us @getinkspired.


Terms of the contest


1. People from any part of the world can participate, but the story must be written in English.

2. The story must contain a maximum of 400 words, and be published in the Humor category.

3. The story must be your own, we do not accept any kind of plagiarism and there may be legal action if this is violated.

4. The story must be exclusive for the duration of the contest.

5. If you are not a current user of Inkspired and want to participate, you just have to register. It's free!

6. The story should have general instructions on how to get out of bed each morning, however, the instructions to use will be chosen from every author's point of view.

7. The story must have the hashtag #Humor in the hashtags section. In addition, it must have a title, a cover and a brief description of the work.

8. This time you can participate with a maximum of 3 stories per author.

9. Anyone who spam will be disqualified.

10. The terms of the contest must be fulfilled. No work that exceeds this term will be accepted.

11. Stories can be edited only during the contest term. Once closed, no changes will be accepted.

12. Once the winners are announced, they should write to info@getinkspired.com to coordinate the delivery of the prizes. If the winner is not pronounced within 15 days, the prize will be awarded to the second place.

13. You do not need to participate from the first day, you can do it whenever you want while the contest is open.

14. Participation in this contest means that the user knows and accepts the bases thereof.

1. We also have contests in other languages ​​-Spanish and Portuguese-, you can see them in the contests section of each language.


AWARDS


BEST STORY

First place: An audio story with winner text narrated by one of our staff, similar to what Cortázar did with his. In addition, the story will be featured for 3 weeks on our homepage and will also be promoted in our networks.



How to publish a story in Inkspired?

1. Go to www.getinkspired.com

2. Register as a user (if you are not already), you can do it manually or via Facebook

3. Click on CREATE A STORY

4. Choose the type of story you wish to publish, in the case of the contest it would be: SHORT STORY

5. Write the title of your story and the category (in this case it would be HUMOR). The title can be edited later if you wish.

6. Write your story as a single chapter.

7. Once written click on 'save' and then 'close and go to the profile of the story'.

8. Here you can add the hashtag #Humor, the description, the cover and the language.

9. Then you will have to go down to where the title of your chapter or story is to click on the publication status button that says 'Draft' and change it to 'Published'.

10. You can see a video tutorial on how to post here: https://getinkspired.com/faq/

15 de Março de 2019 às 23:04 0 Denunciar Insira 3
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How to write a film script



There are moments in which we want to take our stories to a screen. That's how film scripts were born. But writing a horror story is not the same as writing a script for a horror movie. Film scripts need to be written with a different methodology and thinking about how to support directors, technicians and actors, rather than becoming a literary beauty.


Each scriptwriter can have his own method to create a script, but here we will give you basic general tips that will guide you if it is your first time on it:


1) The central idea and the logline.


The first thing that you need to write a script is to identify what the central idea is. This can be a topic that you find interesting and/or you want to deepen. It can arise from a character, place, fictitious world, personal experience, etc.


We will take the example of the great saga The Lord of the Rings. The central idea could be linked to: "how to save the Middle Earth from being destroyed". However, the logline is what will define it.


The logline is a short text that describes the central idea. This is the basis of the script and the one that will be maintained until the end. A logline should always present the protagonist and the ​​conflict, and it must be written in one or two sentences at most. The script genre must also be specified in this part.


Example: A hobbit with a group of elves, hobbits, dwarves and humans, called the Fellowship of the Ring, try to cross Middle Earth to destroy the One Ring, forged by Sauron.


2) The synopsis and the characters


The synopsis is the next step to create a script, this is when the story is summarized and the important facts are specified, as well as the protagonist, the other characters, and the setting in which the events take place. The synopsis should be written in chronological order, but not in a literary form. It must be informative and functional. Therefore, it is written in the third person point of view and in present tense.


Although a synopsis should include the introduction, the knot and the outcome in a summarized way, no descriptions or dialogues are detailed. In this section, it is not necessary to focus on the narrative.


The main characters must be briefly described according to what we want to happen in the story (according to this we will give them certain skills or shortcomings).


You can detail how your character looks physically, but in a concise and concrete way, the most important thing and what you should not miss is the characteristics that will later be very relevant to the story. As for example if your character is blind, is invalid, has schizophrenia, among other details.


3) The Step Outline:


Once the synopsis has been created, it is now the turn to order the story in sequence and segment it by scenes. This is the Step Outline, the skeleton of the story and the most practical way to visualize what will happen next on the screen. In this section you should tell all the facts but not explain why they happen. This is written in present tense and should be read clearly and practically so that the technicians can understand it and carry it out because it will be their guide.


The Step Outline does not necessarily have a chronological order. That will depend on the story, because there are stories that start with the end and then continue with the beginning. Or there are also others that play with the times: they show scenes from the past, then they pass to the future and continue with the present. In the Step Outline these scenes must appear in the order in which you want them to happen in the film.


4) The literary script


This is the time to become literary, and to develop the full scale, but without any technical indication. In a literary script the story is told with all the details, but in an audiovisual way, that means that everything we write can be visualized. Here the dialogues are introduced, and everything is written in the present tense.


The format for literary scripts has been standardized as follows:

- A header, which informs where and when the scene takes place.

- The text that tells what happens in the scene - here you can also describe the scenario.

- The dialogues, which will always have the name of the character first and then the text with what each one speaks.


For example:


INT. OF THE PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL / ROOM OF CHRONIC SICK - DAY


Danielle enters the cold room and observes with wide eyes the 3 patients inside. One is standing looking at the hospital garden from the one and only window of that room, while the others are tied in their own bed with their eyes wide open. All eyes are on Danielle, including the two nurses who are also there. She starts to tremble.


NURSE

Good morning Danielle, welcome.

DANIELLE

I think ... I think ... I think I enter the wrong room.

NURSE

No, you haven't made any mistake, you are in the room that corresponds to you.


The two nurses approach Danielle, take her by both arms and carry her to her bed. Danielle wants to run away, but she doesn't dare, she only dares to walk in silence and obey.



And that's how you would finish creating your script. However, these are only general points, which have emerged, above all, from compilations of different writers and / or teachers specialized in the subject. While creating a film script requires a lot of work, research and details, practice is the key to achieving a good job.

11 de Março de 2019 às 16:09 0 Denunciar Insira 3
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#NewWritingContest - The history remains

Would you go back to the past if they told you that you can change it? What would you change, and what not? Probably for many this question is not easy to answer, and neither is it for us. That's why we're going to give you the opportunity to try it with your own lyrics. The new contest of this month if about a HISTORICAL NOVEL. You must write a chapter, of maximum 400 words, about a historical event -with which you feel identified or for which you have some kind of interest- and turn it into a novel of this genre adding fiction elements.


The most interesting story, well structured and with the potential to have more chapters written, will be the winner. Of course, spelling and grammar will be taken into account. Any error of these will subtract points.


Start date: February 13, 2019

Closing date: March 13, 2019


Remember that...

"The historical novel is a narrative subgenre that was configured in the romanticism of the nineteenth century and has continued to develop quite successfully in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, using a fictional argument, like any novel, has the characteristic that it is situated In a specific historical moment and real historical events tend to have some relevance in the development of the argument.The presence of historical data in the narrative may have a greater or lesser degree of depth. It is also common for this type of novels to have as protagonist a real or fictional historical character through which fiction develops. "


Source: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novela_hist%C3%B3rica


How does the contest work?

1. You must write the first chapter of a Historical Novel, and publish it in your Inkspired profile. Make sure that the first chapter presents the story's plot and that it contains a maximum of 400 words.

2. Once published, you can edit it until deadline.

3. The story must be published as Story with Chapters of the Historical category.

4. You must tag your story with the hashtag #HistoricalNovel in the hashtags section.

5. The story must have a title, a proper cover and a brief description.

6. It must be unpublished and exclusive of Inkspired for the duration of the contest.

7. Once the contest is over, the story should remain published on the platform for a minimum of 6 months, and our recommendation is that you continue writing it.

8. The contest will have a single winner. He or she will be announced during the third week of March.

9. The jury will be Inkspired editorial team, which includes Jackeline Vargas, Content Manager, and Ginya Les, Leader Ambassador. The winner will be chosen according to the story's structure, the level of interest generated in the first chapter and the potential to have more chapters written. Creativity, originality, grammatical and spelling quality will also be taken into account, as well as the respect of the terms of the contest.

10. A minimum of 20 participants is required for the contest to be official.

11. To get additional points, just upload and share your story in one of your Social Networks (Instagram or Facebook) and tag us @getinkspired.


Terms of the writing contest

1. People from any part of the world can participate, but the story must be written in English.

2. The story must contain at least one full chapter, of 400 words, and be published in the Historical category.

3. The novel must be of your authorship, we do not accept any kind of plagiarism and there may be legal actions if this is infringed.

4. The story must be exclusive for the duration of the contest.

5. If you are not a current user of Inkspired and want to participate, you just have to register. It's free!

6. The novel may be any historical event of interest to the author.

7. The work must have the hashtag #HistoricalNovel in the hashtags section. In addition, you must have a title, a cover and a brief description of the story.

8. This time you can participate with a single story. No more stories by the same author will be accepted. If this happens, all his/her stories will be disqualified.

9. Anyone who spam will be disqualified.

10. The terms of the contest must be fulfilled. No work that exceeds this term will be accepted.

11. Stories can be edited only during the contest term. Once closed, no changes will be accepted.

12. Once the winners are announced, they should write to info@getinkspired.com to coordinate the delivery of the prizes. If the winner is not pronounced within 15 days, the prize will be awarded to the second place.

13. You do not need to participate from the first day, you can do it whenever you want while the contest is open.

14. Participation in this contest means that the user knows and accepts the bases thereof.

1. We also have contests in other languages ​​-Spanish and Portuguese-, you can see them in the contests section of each language.


AWARDS


BEST STORY

First place: 1 basic cover for the winning novel, 1 feedback from the jury with suggestions to continue writing the story, and the recommendation of the story in our Social Network every time a new chapter of the winning novel is published. 


How to publish a story on Inkspired?

1. Go to www.getinkspired.com

2. Register as a user (if you are not already). You can do it manually or via Facebook.

3. Click on CREATE A STORY.

4. Choose the type of story you want to publish, in the case of the contest it must be: STORY WITH CHAPTERS

5. Write the title of your story and the category (in this case it would be HISTORICAL). The title can be edited later if you wish.

6. Write your story as a single chapter.

7. Once written click on 'save' and then 'close and go to the story’s profile’.

8. Here you can add the hashtag #HistoricalNovel, the description, the cover and the language. Remember that the hashtag must go both in the hashtag section and in the description.

9. Then you will have to go down to where your chapter’s title is and click on the button that says 'Draft' and change it to 'Published'.

10. You can see a video tutorial on how to post here: https://getinkspired.com/faq/ -but it is in spanish.

13 de Fevereiro de 2019 às 15:01 2 Denunciar Insira 7
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