Opening Statement Thoughts

Recently read a column in The Wall Street Journal titled The Fine Art Of Where To Start [a story] by Darin Strauss. Mr. Strauss says the most important part of a story is the beginning as in the first words out of our mouth in opening statement.

Opening Statement Tells a Story. In a personal injury case the story involves an injury to plaintiff. Mr. Strauss says the first lesson in story telling is to remember “A story equals trouble.” The personal injury story must discuss how the trouble caused injury to plaintiff.

Beginning the Story. Mr. Strauss  believes the sooner we introduce the trouble into the story the more likely our listeners (the jury) will pay close attention. To Strauss this means beginning the story with the critical action of the trouble. 

Jacob Appel in Writer’s Digest reasons: “I started devoting an entire session of my writing class to opening lines when I realized that the last formal instruction I’d had on the subject was the grade school admonition that stories should begin with a hook.’” In the years since, I’ve come to believe that the fate of most …[stories] is sealed within the initial …[phrases]—and that the seeds of that triumph or defeat are usually sown by the end of the very first sentence.


    4 Responses to “Opening Statement Thoughts”

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