The Coming Storm – Part 1

In an earlier post I said my husband and I have been following a writing course given by best-selling author Jerry Jenkins. The last lesson I did covers how important the first sentence and the first paragraph are. No time for rambling here; that opening scene has to grab the reader. Even if the story doesn’t start out with a bang (on someone’s head, in some building or some universe) the reader must get a sense of a fascinating storm just ahead.

I’ve tried to do that in my response to this week’s Six Word Story prompt over at GirlieOnTheEdge’s blog, where the prompt word is BAND. I’m cheating on the prompt, though, since this isn’t a complete story. 🙂


Herb glanced out the window, checked his time again, then snapped the band of his watch in frustration.

“If she isn’t here in three minutes, I’m leaving,” he silently vowed. He had an important meeting with one of his shareholders and he dare not be late.

A moment later he heard a knock and rushed to open the door, snarling, “What…!”

“What am I doing here, you were going to ask,” Jonathan said, shoving his way inside. “Can’t you guess, Herb?”

15 thoughts on “The Coming Storm – Part 1

  1. I don’t know if you want a critique, and remember you get what you pay for, and who asked me anyway, but considering this exercise, I’d start with “If she isn’t here in 3 minutes…”

    This is really hard. I think it’s somewhat easier when you’re dealing with a short story than when you’re looking at a novel. Opening for a short story is like opening an interesting box; a novel is like opening a cave.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments. As to the opening, yours is a great idea. The only reason I started with the time/watch bit was to use the word BAND in the tersest way possible. 😉
      For me short is always easy. Writing an opening is a snap — a quick, vivid scene. Staying with it for the long haul, getting a whole novel plotted and carried out is a tough one. Yes, like exploring a cave with a number of channels going here and there.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I tried for questions: What’s delayed her? Why is he there? What will he do? Does his arrival have anything to do with her being late? Jerry J says the more questions you can raise, the more powerful the hook. Now it will take a whole novel to explain this situation. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Was Herb waiting for his wife to come — or someone else? Why did Herb “dare not be late”? Was he in trouble financially? Is he even the main character? Readers have very little invested in him at this point.
      Who was Jonathan? Did he have anything to do with Herb’s wife? With the “someone else”? With Herb’s financial situation? Or was his arrival totally unrelated? Will he turn out to be the main character? The bully? The detective that arrests Herb for some crime?
      Oh, yes, I could have fun with this! Thanks for your comment.


  2. Oh, good! Maybe I should carry this on, pick main characters, a plot, and wing it in short installments — until I write myself into a corner. 😉
    But today I’m posting The Coming Storm-Part 2 and it’s a whopper!


  3. I’m with the others, your Six was engaging and (at the end) intriguing. Pretty much all that we’re looking for in a story, no?
    Personally I like the six sentence limitation, really forces one to find the right words, pretty much from start to finish.
    (Not that I’m above deploying the thought/image/idea stretching semi-colon from time to time. lol But any writing one does improves all the writing they will do.)

    Liked by 1 person

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