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“Beginnings are sudden, but also insidious. They creep up on you sideways, they keep to the shadows, they lurk unrecognized. Then, later, they spring.” 
― Margaret Atwood​

2. Plot
3. Scenes
4. Beginnings
7. Show and Tell
11. Middles

13. Verbs
14. Rhythm
16. Creativity 
18. Revising


"In the town, there were two mutes and they were always together." —Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940)

“Dear Anyone Who Finds This, Do not blame the drugs.”
—Lynda Barry, Cruddy

“You better not never tell nobody but God.”
—Alice Walker, The Color Purple

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.”
—Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

“On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide—it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills—the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope.”
—Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides

“Since it’s Sunday and it’s stopped raining, I think I’ll take a bouquet of roses to my grave.”
—Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “Someone Has Been Disarranging These Roses”

“The grandmother didn’t want to go to Florida.”
—Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”

“A cradle won’t hold my baby.”
—Daniel Woodrell, “Uncle”

"I no longer care if I die, said Korin, then, after a long silence, pointed to the nearby flooded quarry: Are those swans?"
Laszlo Krasznahorkai, War & War

“It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.”
—Paul Auster, City of Glass

Beginnings should:

Make character appealing to readers
Introduce both strengths and weaknesses of character
Build the plot

(Need to indicate the character's lack (problems in his life caused by the lie) as soon as possible. Don't focus too much on the negative right away. Must establish identification with your hero before revealing major flaws that could reduce sympathy. 

Illustrate the lie and the thing he wants most and key personality traits as well as the thing he needs (probably implied)

Make charateristic moment spectacular, don't settle for less
Fun and effective scene to introduce your character to readers that they wont soon forget. 

The beginning should be their normal world. This will be what all of the personal and plot changes will be measured. Concrete setting. Normal world is where character has found contentment/complacency (pg 60, character arc)

The normal world is a place that the main character either doesn't want to leave or can't. The normal world dramatizes the lie the character believes. It empowers the character in that lie, giving him no reason to look beyond it. It's only when the normal world is challenged or abandoned at the first plot point that the character's belief in his lie shaken. 

Ask how the normal world will best contrast with the "adventure world" of the other two acts. 

1. Characters

3. Plot