The new Marvel comics Conan reboot opens with a defenceless Conan adrift at sea, before he goes “stumbling” into Stygia. Sounds like a rather mundane way to start, Marvel. I don’t read Conan for an approach which goes…

Hither wandered Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, depressed, no sword, bedraggled and stumbling, to hobble over the weary dust of Stygia with his blistered feet.

The new Marvel approach is to be enlivened by “romance and comedy”, apparently. Oh dear… it doesn’t sound good. But I’m probably not their intended audience, these days.

What would R.E. Howard have done, to make the big ‘splash’ opening just a touch more gripping and forceful? Mark Kirby posted a fine guide to that, a week ago…

Robert E. Howard did not leave us much in the way of personal writing advice. The few direct comments we have by him on the topic are gleaned from his letters, or revealed by Novalyne Price Ellis in her biography … There are eight primary elements most often used by Robert E. Howard in opening narratives.

A Brief REH-Inspired Guide to Writing Great Story Openings (Part One)

A Brief REH Inspired Guide to Writing Great Story Openings (Part Two)

He also usefully points to the currently-active main forum for Howard discussion.