The first function of opening a story is to excite interest, so that you can intrigue the reader into reading your entire story. Immediately following the opening, you should introduce the characters, reveal tone, setting, and the plot. If you are writing a fiction story with a singular theme and idea, then stress the idea early so that you readers will realize what your story is trying creatively to focus on. A story’s theme often surfaces in the opening, usually in the first paragraph.
Why use a dialogic beginning?
Using a dialogic beginning can help you open a story economically, interestingly, and effectually. Of course, some stories are inapt to the conversational opening, but you can start many stories with dialogue. The dialogic beginning has plenty of special strengths. When planning your fiction story, evaluate the merits of beginning with dialogue before deciding on a different approach. Dialogue never occurs for its own purpose. Its primary function is to reveal and progress the plot and the story’s events. Dialogue strengthens, accentuates, and substantiates the characters as they play their parts. Conversation can develop your characters and show the story setting and environment at the same time.
Using dialogue to start a story can illustrate the character who is speaking. No better technique exists for valuing a character than from his own vocal expression. Dialogue can also possess an indirect character likeness—a main character’s words might exhibit his own nature and mannerisms while exclusively characterizing a second person by revealing that person and the influence he produces on the main character. This secondary characterization is a valuable technique of effective dialogue. In stories of drama and short fiction, you can find many writers who first introduced the principal characters before they physically appeared on the page. A snippet of dialogue spoken by a less important character can introduce the main character(s) effectively.
What can dialogue do?
Similar to its usefulness in painting portraits is dialogue’s subtle way in revealing setting and geographical details. Certain classes of people speak their own type of dialect, so using a single sentence of dialogue can reveal a period of their life, line of work, or beliefs. You can also use highly descriptive and intriguing dialogue to reveal a story’s setting.
Dialogue almost always supports the action in a story. You can use dialogue to assist, highlight, and render the action. This approach brightens the narrative, disperses heavy paragraphs of setting, and helps readers focus more on the characters and their conversations.
The value of starting a story with a fragment of dialogue becomes more noticeable when we realize its potential as an effective story-starter. Theoretically, opening a story with conversation obtains particular useful cognitive effects. Conversation captivates and holds attention. It is suggestive. We can use it to create and maintain suspense. The dialogic opening is one of many useful techniques, especially in short story writing, because its economy of words can introduce characters, reveal tone, setting, and environment, while it introduces the action.