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The Writer's Guide to Beginnings by William Martin, Paula Munier

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Chapter Six

The Beginnings Rulebook II

The Dignity of Greatness

“To get the truth, you want to get your own heart to pound while you write.”

—Robert McKee

“Action is the dignity of greatness.”

—José Marti

Action

The most reliable way of opening your story is with action. Readers respond to proactive characters; they want to read about people who err on the side of action, rather than inertia. That’s why you don’t want to open your story with your character asleep, flat on her back, dreaming her life away. No dream is that good. I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating, and I’ll keep on saying it until writers stop opening stories with dreams.

Even those of you who say that you write character-driven stories are not off the hook. As ...

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