I know you know that it’s vital to get the beginning of your story right, so your readers are gripped and just HAVE to keep reading!

Another thing you know is that reading is vital for your writing… I follow this advice myself. Last week I began reading Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and I thought I’d share the first few paragraphs with you:


CHAPTER I. Down the Rabbit-Hole

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice “without pictures or conversations?”

So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!” (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.


How’s that for an exciting start! We are introduced to the protagonist and the setting, we see there are fantastical elements (a talking pink rabbit with a pocket watch!) and it all sounds exciting. We can also identify with Alice and her boredom.

So it’s a great start, don’t you think? Of course the story won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s sold millions of copies for a reason. I wonder, if the beginning had been long and drawn out, if it would have been quite so successful?

If you feel you could do with looking at the beginning of your story, please feel free to do my free writing course, Gripping Beginnings.

If you’ve already done it, and honestly feel you could do with a bit of help with your writing, why not take a deep breath and join the Write for a Reason Academy? The new year is a great time to get some proper teaching, to take your writing to the next level.

After all, if you’ve been called to write, someone’s waiting for your stories! Better make them the best they can be, right?

I’m not going to do a hard sell, with thousands of emails about it to convince you how great the course is (I hate that!). But please do pray about it, and if you feel it’s the right thing, come on in and join us. (And to remove any risk, I do guarantee that if within the first three weeks you feel it’s not for you, I will refund your money in full.)

Here’s a review, from Mark, who went on to publish several stories: “Wow! I learned so much. The distance learning format worked well for me and I just managed to fit the work in to my schedule. I really liked the balance of teaching and “having a go” in the course and it’s given me a pot of ideas which I can use. The teaching areas we covered have provided my own story writing with a much better skeleton which I can see will allow them to go further! It’s given me more confidence and excitement about my story writing.” – Mark (Lancashire)

Click here for lots more info, or do feel free to get in touch.

May you go from strength to strength in 2024!

God be with you,

Janet Wilson

Beginnings of stories.
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