How to Write an Introduction Effectively

How to write an introduction that grips the reader needs special attention. The first line or two of a story is the most important part. It will grab the reader’s attention and keep them reading or they will likely lose interest and put it down.

Old typewriter

Writers often find this quite challenging and don’t know where to start, and so they end up using one of these boring examples that do not produce the desired effect.

For example:

                Once upon a time..........

                Many years ago.......

                This is my story about .........

                Hi! My name is...........

                One sunny day.........

So how can we jump-start stories that will grip the reader’s attention?

Effective Techniques: How to Write an Introduction

Start off the story by having the main character ........


Put the main character in the setting doing something relevant. For example begin a sea adventure on the beach with the main character walking along the beach looking for killer whales.

E.g. I tasted the salty sea air as I walked across the sand finding the perfect spot to view the killer whales.


(Say something using exclamation or dialogue)

Begin the story by having the main character saying something relevant.

E.g. "This is the perfect spot to see the killer whales!" I said as I walked towards the rocky outcrop on the beach.


Begin with the main character expressing thoughts or feelings about an important aspect of the story.

E.g. I had a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach that today we would see the whales.


Let an unusual sound draw the reader into the setting or action of the story.

E.g. Woo! Woo! The wind howled across the sand stinging the back of my legs as I looked for the perfect spot to see the whales.

Try mastering the various techniques effectively building an idea bank from which you can draw. As the author you can then decide which technique will work best for the given story. Will an action be more exciting than a thought or feeling? Is a funny dialogue the perfect way to start an informal piece? Or will a spine chilling shriek set the tone?


Recommended Links

Story Starter Graphic Organizers to print and use.

Read some story starters written by published authors.

Learn How to Write an Effective Conclusion

How to improve sentence fluency.

Classic Brainstorming Ideas

Essay help and tips

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Super Story-Writing Strategies & Activities (Grades 3-6)

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