How do you begin a short story? It helps to have a good idea, one that has sparked your own curiosity and imagination.
Sometimes, as in this case, it can start with a class assignment. Several years ago, a writing instructor offered this prompt…Write about a secret revelation. Does that get your imagination going? It did for me.
At the time, I had become fascinated by the spires of Bryce Canyon (having come across a photo of them in a magazine). That seemed like a good opening, a starting place. And, perhaps, a good way to capture my reader’s attention.
The Point of Inspiration (in 3 parts)
© by Christine O’Brien
She was either to blame or to be credited for his secret passion. It was certainly a fate of sorts, meeting her below the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon.
Pointing upwards and to the east, she handed him her binoculars, saying “That’s Inspiration Point.”
And then, in a quick breath almost inaudible, “Do I inspire you?”
“What did you say?” he asked shaking his head as if he had water in his ears.
Swiftly, she changed the subject “Have you been here before?”
“Never,” he answered.
“How about I be your tour guide for the day? I know these spires like, like…”
“…the back of your hand,” he offered.
“I was looking for an original metaphor,” she said. “I hate cliches.”
“Cliche or otherwise, I’m all yours,” he said, noting her muscled calves and tall sturdy frame, a spire herself he found himself momentarily thinking in metaphors.
Does this opening make you curious to know more? About the characters? About where this story is going? How is it going to lead to a secret revelation? If it has caught your interest, then, it’s done what was intended. It has hooked you as the reader.