When writing a book, the first page of a book is the most important because it is going to be the most read page when it’s sitting on the shelf at the bookstore. It better be good, or the other pages aren’t getting read. The same thing goes for Blog Fiction. If the first post isn’t interesting, you may not hold your audience.

So how do you write an interesting first post? Well, first of all, don’t write one that reads like an online dating profile. e.g.

My name is Mary Nextdoor. I am 33 years old and live in Manhattan. I’m 5′ 6”, blonde(natural), brown eyes, and have curves. I love my pets, hate my parents, and only go to church on Christmas eve.

Luckily, most people haven’t written anything quite that boring, but I do see a tendency to always want to introduce themselves. Here’s some real examples.

The Professional Pet’s first paragraph

Lets start with the basics, my name is Fluffy and I live with a family in England. Yes, I’m a pet and I’m still pretty much a baby as you can see from my picture. Most people comment on my name because, well, I’m quite clearly the least fluffy thing you are ever likely to see. Lets be honest, a mouldy carrot has more fluff than me! Why am I called Fluffy then? My owner thought it would be funny… I didn’t agree. I wiped the smile off his face when I left a little present on his bed though, hehe.

Wilf’s World’s First Paragraph

My name is Wilf and I am eight, very nearly nine years old. I would really like to be called ‘Buzz’ like, Buzz Aldrin but my parents wouldn’t talk to me when I tried to change my name. I mean whoever heard of an astronaut called ‘Wilfred’? I live with my parents who are extremely old and like to visit garden centres and stare at things. My favourite place (apart from The Science Museum of course!) is my bedroom or inventroom, as I like to call it. I have a computer in my inventroom and its name is Dexter. I named it after my best friend, Dexter. I am sad to say that Dexter is a bit slow and so is the computer-ha! Anyway, I want to tell you about my world because I can. The first bit of my story has to do with Christmas. Mum says this is always a difficult time. Too right. I’ll start you off tomorrow as I have to go to bed now.

Great Swan Alley first post

I was born on Great Swan Alley in the April of 1725. Or rather I should say, I was left in a doorway on Great Swan Alley in the April of 1725. I do not know where I was born, or of what parentage, but I am on a quest to discover.

In all 3 examples, the character introduce themselves. Granted they all find little ways to make sure it’s not boring, but the goal shouldn’t be “not boring”, it should be “so interesting a reader just HAS to read the next post”.

When reading a Blog Fiction, I like the ones that form the first post, just “Get On With it!” There is no introduction, the writer just jumps into a story where the fictional blogger already has a problem. I love blogfic that starts that way, and I’m willing to bet your readers will too. I’m not sure what the formula is for writing a great beginning post. So the best I can do is post some examples that work.

Here’s from the first post of The Voice of the Living

We’ve been running all night, and the sun is about to rise. I hope and pray that we are not the only ones who’ve made it out alive, but from what we saw back there, I find it unlikely. With me are Dr. Graham York and Pte. Hannah Johnson, and right now we consider ourselves the only survivors after the outbreak of infection in the state of New York.
Due to the aggressiveness of the virus, there’s a good chance it has spread even further by now. That would explain why no help was sent for us.
Right now, our main priority is getting in touch with any other survivors out there. I will continue documenting everything, so that if we do not survive, our story will.

Reading this really makes me want to continue reading it. It makes me want to find out several things. “Where did they make it out of?” “What kind of virus was this?” “Were these 3 involved in making it?” “Are there other survivors?” I want to keep reading because I want those questions answered.

From the first post of Alone on Earth

I awoke this morning to a slight humming noise. I thought it was coming from the communications center. But, I turned it down low in case of any incoming calls or email. I went outside and just as it started, it stopped. Ralph was whining the entire time. The humming lasted only about 2 or 3 minutes. A few years ago I would have said it was coming from power lines. Except there are no power lines any longer. I need to take Ralph in to town for a checkup. He’s been acting funny for the past few days.

This is another great example of a story just starting. It too makes me want to keep reading. I want to know “what was that humming that woke up the blogger?”, “Who or what is Ralph and why has he been acting funny?”, and “where is he that there are no power lines?” In both cases the stories above did eventually introduce the characters, but they did so either a little at a time, or well enough after the first post that the reader should already be hooked.

One more piece of advice on your first post. I’ve noticed that several blog fiction writers try to be clever by making their first post be a “test” post. That is, they right a post that just has the word “test” or “test post” in it. I do get that they’re trying to emulate real bloggers that might have done this. Unfortunately, this is being done so much that it can no longer be considered clever. (see I woke Up in Pittsburgh, Modern Vampire, Ten-Sided) Just… GET ON WITH IT!!!

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23 comments on “Writing your first Post: Get on with it!

  1. I completely agree! Beginnings are so important when it comes to hooking your readers and drawing them in. I’m definitely of the ‘throw the reader into the deep end’ kind of mind when it comes to this sort of thing.

    I found it tricky when I started my blogfic, partly because I hadn’t tried anything in this form before. I didn’t want to jump right into the end-of-the-world stuff; I wanted to give the reader a baseline for the narrator before everything went to hell. So I wound up using some other personal drama to kick it off and try to suck people in. Hopefully it worked well enough!

  2. I’m glad I found this post. Actually, I have a lot of ideas but my problem is I don’t know how to start, where to start. That’s why until now, I couldn’t even write one sentence. But, I’m glad I got here and found your post. Thank you very much, this is really for beginners like me. Keep up the good work.

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