Grab them fast

This article is all about your first paragraph. You really should read it all – it’s brilliant, and the lady is speaking from the harrowing experience of having just read over 1500 first paragraphs – most of which were rubbish (she said so, but more politely).

Here’s a sentence I particularly liked:

If you do start with the “typical”, you have about three sentences to introduce something unique/unexpected that’ll keep a reader reading.

And here is something really special – the opening scenes that happen far, far too often. I know I personally have used two and a half of these in my novels alone. That is not a good sign.

People waking up

People waking up tied to a chair or in other harrowing situations
“My father/mother/uncle always told me”
Airports
Leaving husbands/wives
Describing sunlight/wind (or rain, which I’ve mentioned)
Ghosts, ghosts, ghosts
People moving and arriving at their new house
First day back at school
Depression/suicide
People being called “crazy”
The main character has just murdered someone
Diaries/letters
Dreams (recurring or otherwise)
Pregnancy tests
Read the whole article.

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