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Writers at Home

Thank you for visiting my Writers at Home page. For all of you young authors, this new writing activity is called:

Interesting Beginnings

The first sentences of any story are really important and when you are writing a story you should think carefully about your opening.


Look below at the three different openings for a ghost story:

One day Danny was walking along the street when he met his friend Peter. Peter asked him if he would like to spend the night in a haunted house. Danny said that he would and they agreed to meet later that evening. They opened the gate and walked up the path towards the big mansion door.

It was a bitterly cold November night. The howling wind made the clouds scurry across the leaden sky. As Danny and Peter approached the dark mansion, they shivered violently and wondered if they had made a grave mistake. Danny placed a trembling hand on the gate latch and pulled it slowly open.


    'Come on,' whispered Danny, as he opened the creaking wooden gate carefully, 'there's nothing to be afraid of, Peter.'

    'I-I don't think we should be here,' whimpered Peter, his voice trembling with fear. 'W-what if there's someone inside?'

    'Who's going to be in a deserted mansion at this time of night?' hissed Peter in frustration. 'You go home if you want to but I'm going to take a closer look.'

    Feeling a shiver of excitement, Danny advanced slowly and cautiously along the damp gravel path towards the dark, gloomy mansion. An owl hooted eerily in the distance as the thick, grey mist swirled around his feet. Secretly, he was feeling a little nervous but there was no way he was going to let Peter see he was scared.

Which opening do you prefer?

  • One of the openings is BORING - and I think you will know which one that is!

  • Another opening uses effective description to inform the reader about the setting and to create an atmosphere.

  • Finally, direct speech (dialogue) is used so that the reader gets to know about the characters and the story is then taken forward with narrative.


I know which is my favourite opening but what do you think?


Activity 1:  What happens next? Choose your favourite opening and continue the story. You can finish the story if you wish - it is entirely up to you how far you take the plot!

Activity 2:  Experiment with the openings for different stories.

Choose two of the titles below and write the beginning for each story. Use description for one opening and direct speech for the other opening.

                             1. A Surprise Present

                             2. Lost in the Forest

                             3. Alien Landing

                             4. Journey Into Danger

                             5. The Secret Door


Once again, I would love to see your finished work. You could email it to me or send it via my Facebook page.

Click the button below to take you to a previous writing task.....

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