Powerful ways to start a story

Kim Welch

Senior Member
How about this - It is a dark cold winter day in war torn New York City. The wind gusting up and blowing the snow and debris from the piles of garbage and trash in the grey streets. A young boy about 8 or 9 in tattered clothing is standing in the abandon avenue screaming "momma! mommahh!" Next to him is a young woman's body slumped over with thin dirty fingers slightly curled in a claw like frozen gesture reaching towards the grey sky. With the strong sound of the rushing wind in our ears we hear dogs howling in the distance. and, the little boy cry's out again Momma!
 
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Kim Welch

Senior Member
It is the start of the semester in a class at an all boys school for the brightest of the bright. The students dressed in button down fashion sit waiting for the instructor who gives out only one "A" grade each semester. The competition was so bad that the year before a mother was arrested for hiring a hit man to take out her sons competition before the final exams.
 

Kim Welch

Senior Member
A woman is sitting at a bus stop sobbing quietly. The buss pulls up and she slowly ambles to the bus and gets on. The people on the bus stare with hard faces. The sun dances through the bus windows as the buss makes it's way thru the streets dropping of passengers and picking up others. times passes and the streets are dark.

buss driver says to the woman: "this is my last stop before heading to the garage your going to have to get off"
 
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Paul Holloway

New member
I haven't wrote a horror story script yet. I love the horror movies more that get you attached to certain characters then you kill them off. I go for more character development then story. I want to create characters the viewer will get attached to. Then add your story to it but make sure your characters have a reason to be in the story too.
 

Paul Holloway

New member
My first screenplay I wrote. Even if I don't know if this is a good starting point starts off with a conversation in a car between 3 people. That is about 3 lines the it goes into a close up shot of the main character then we enter into a flashback to establish a little more about one of the main characters. After about 12 lines it goes back to present time and resume with the current story.
 

Jason Huls

New member
Check out the beginning of Arlington Road. I don't remember all that much about the details of the movie, but I remember the beginning is really gripping. Try to establish audience identification with a character as early as possible. Drop a character in danger, for example.
 

Victor Ramirez

Moderator
Save the Cat!

Save the Cat!

Let's go to one of the most referenced screenwriting books of all time - Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder.

The first page, Snyder calls the OPENING IMAGE. Here’s what he has to say about it:

“The very first impression of what a movie is — its tone, its mood, the type and scope of the film — are all found in the opening image….” – Blake Snyder
Let's look at a great example:

Kick-Ass - A crazy guy in a super hero costume jumping from a building and immediately plummeting to his death. To me, this sums up the movie rather well. Trying to be a super hero can get you killed and you are probably insane to try.
 
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