By: Creative Writing with the Crimson League
I mentioned yesterday that I’m working on a new opening scene for my latest novel. That means, in part, crafting a new first sentence, which has me thinking about the beauty that is a wonderful opening line (and the difficulty of writing one).
Of course, you don’t have to get the first line right in the first draft, and this scene is in first draft territory. But right now the first line is awful.
Melinda Phinnean attempted to lay a low-cut linen dress on top of a locked travel case, but her brother’s feisty mutt grabbed a sleeve in its teeth and dragged the garment off.
With some slicing it could make a decent enough sentence, but for a first sentence, it accomplishes nothing that I like my first sentences to accomplish.
Every author, and every book, is different, so this is a hard post to write. I don’t want to come across as saying “if your first sentence doesn’t follow these guidelines it’s worthless and you need to recraft it, stat.”
Still, there are certain things I like my first sentences to do. I thought I’d share those things in the hopes of getting people thinking about the weight of their own first sentences.
- I keep my first sentences short, in an attempt to ease my readers into my story. This is in no small way related to my personal stylistic preference for clarity and simplicity. I establish my style upfront, and I make sure my readers don’t start out confused or questioning where they are.
. . .
Read the full article HERE!
If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
- Really? You’re Not in a Book Club? | The Passive Voice | http://ow.ly/xEsDX
- When Bad Things Happen to Good Characters: How to Write Tragic Events | Creative Writing with the Crimson League http://ow.ly/xEyud
- How to make an audiobook with ACX – more tips for narrators, producers and authors | Nail Your Novel http://ow.ly/xEz89
- Basic Plot Structure - The Five Plotting Moments That Matter - Writers Write http://ow.ly/xEzMs
- What is the difference between a commercial and a literary plot? - Writers Write http://ow.ly/xEzSQ
- How 5 Creative Brands Pin on Pinterest http://ow.ly/xEA2M
- Agent @RachelleGardner gives a rundown of BEA, says publishing is "figuring it out." http://ctt.ec/X5ts2+
- Publishing isn't dying? Who knew? @RachelleGardner takes the industry's temp at BEA. http://ctt.ec/5Aau8+
- How, When, and Where Does Quality Rise to the Top? [Smart Set] | Jane Friedman http://ow.ly/xEAUX
- Worldbuilding: Leaving It Out — J. Kathleen Cheney http://ow.ly/xEB5H
- Why Free Is Your Best Marketing Tool (And How to Harness It) | Penny C. Sansevieri http://ow.ly/xEBpg
- 7 Ways to Use SlideShare for Your Business | Social Media Examiner http://ow.ly/xEBJB
- H. D. Loughrey | A Critique of Critique? http://ow.ly/xF2zD
- One Step to Better Writing and More Diversity | Jami Gold, Paranormal Author http://ow.ly/xG8Kk