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Short stories are self-contained works of prose fiction whose function is to impart a moral, capture a moment, or evoke a certain mood. Short stories are often more focused, as all the elements within—plot, character, pacing, story structure, and so on—must work together towards this common goal.

However, even after you’ve gathered all the story ideas you need to create your world, form your story line, and achieve this harmony, what exactly is the right way to start your story? A short story can have a myriad of beginnings, and it all comes down to which suits the content, genre, and tone of the entire story you’re trying to tell. A good beginning will hook the reader’s attention from the opening lines, and keep them engaged for the rest of the story.