Scene Prompt #38: Gimme the Goods

What’s your Genre? Genre helps people who like the kind of stuff you write find your book. So . . . What’s your story’s genre? (If you’re not sure, give it a google or check out one of the books below.)

Now ask yourself: What kind of goodies are part of your genre? What are people reading it for? What kind of action or events do they want to see? What kind of reading experience do they want to have? What kind of emotion?

Got an idea of the goods?

Cool. Now . . . how might you write your story’s opening scene in order to give the reader a taste of the genre? In order to say, “You’ve come to the right place, dear reader, because, as you can see, my story’s got the goods!”?

Need help? Brainstorm a list of your genre’s goods. Then brainstorm a list of how your story–its concept, plot, and characters–fulfills those goods. Then brainstorm another list of ways you could give a taste of those goods in the first five pages.

Just a taste?

That’s my preference as a reader, but if you want to put in more than a taste, go ahead. Just make sure you leave room for your story to escalate. I remember reading a ghost story, I think it was, and the opening scene was a prologue that showed the whole of the ghost and the whole of its modus operandi. In detail. It was like seeing all 20-or-however-many feet of Jaws, mouth wide, with time to count his every bloody tooth, in the opening beach scene. Too much too soon. All the goodies were completely fulfilled–leaving no need to read further. (And I didn’t. Doing so was anticlimactic. I skimmed the rest, just to be sure, and it was all boring compared to the genre-filled opening, which, unfortunately for the story, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate because I didn’t have any context–didn’t care, didn’t know the stakes, etc.)

So, you do what you want, but chances are all your opening needs is a fin. (And some ominous music (mood/tone, tension, dramatic questions) . . . and a struggling victim (conflict) . . . and . . . =D)

Anyhoo . . . Genre: Good stuff. Make sure the reader knows your book’s gonna satisfy by giving them a taste of the good stuff in the first five pages. Closer to page 1 is even better.

Write the scene. And enjoy! Genre’s the fun part.

Book that Inspired This Post plus Some Genre Books

41kytiz3ffl 41y9jyt2bval 41r9-yhycvl._sx331_bo1204203200_ 51h21fj8gl._sx331_bo1204203200_ 

The book cover links above are Affiliate Links, which means I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you.  In other words, if you’re thinking of buying a copy of one of these books for your home craft library anyway, buying said copy through this link is a no-brainer way to help support this site. And I appreciate it. Thank you!

That’s it for me!

How about you?  How do you like to coax a reader into turning the page?  Tell us in the comments!

If you found this post helpful, please . . .

1. Like it and share it! There are share buttons below . . .

2. Subscribe to the Blog to receive the Tools in your inbox as soon as they post:

3. Subscribe to the Newsletter. It’s a monthly-to-quarterly-ish (that’s still vastly overstating it) newsletter to share news and free worksheets and whatnot. Your welcome email will include the 19-page Character Development Workbook. You can subscribe here.

4. And if you found it particularly helpful . . .

Buy Me a Coffee at

Also, people have been hiring me to review their loglines with the kind of analysis seen here and here, and I’m enjoying it. So, if you think your logline (or something else!) might benefit from a looksie and want to hire me to review it, email me at writeswithtools @ gmail dot com.



So... whadaya think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s