Students often struggle with how to begin their creative writing or short stories. This SMART notebook file contains 5 effective ways to begin, with examples from published books provided. For example, "It was" can be used, a la George Orwell: "It was a bright cold day in April." I was impressed at the difference this lesson made to students' work. I would use this after students have planned their story plots and have them try each of the 5 techniques to find one that works.