How to Begin a Novel
Here’s a short survey of the techniques good books use to start. It’s by no means an exhaustive list or even a prescriptive one, but it could help those looking for a little inspiration.
- Trepidation in style — If the novel is part thriller or horror with an unreliable narrator, make the reader uncertain of their sanity or authenticity. Example: Gone Girl
- Myopic fascination — Focus on something innocuous and incredibly defined, yet something that isn’t normally discussed, like the design of water slides. Tie the discussion into the plot. Example: The Sun Also Rises (boxing), and yes, Gone Girl (the back of his wife’s head)
- Anecdote or Aside — Write a short story featuring once-and-done characters that gets going quickly and creates a mystery, leading the reader into the main plot. Note that this is especially effective to smooth what would otherwise be a long build-up (Crichton does this a lot!). Examples: Game of Thrones, Foundation, Jurrasic Park, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (two anecdotes!)
- Dialogue — Start with a quick back-and-forth between two characters, discussing a major upcoming event or person in your world. Example: Ender’s Game
"Fungi are essential for converting biomass into compost."
"Myco-heterotrophy is a symbiotic relationship between certain kinds of plants and fungi, in which the plant gets all or part of its food from parasitism upon fungi rather than from photosynthesis."
"It is almost lacking in chlorophyll and therefore is unable to photosynthesise as most plants do; instead it gains sugars and nutrients from mycorrhizal fungi."
Fungi help certain plants to grow.
The family is largely composed of plants that can tolerate acidic, infertile conditions.