By: Jennie Nash
My mission as a book coach is to help writers write the best books they can, which means paying attention to:
- the macro elements (the story or argument the book makes)
- the micro elements (the words on the page)
- the emotional realities of the writing life (the habits that lead to success)
I’ve developed a series of posts to help you learn how to write one really great chapter so that you can take those lessons and apply them to all your work. Up first? How to write a great opening line.
Hook Your Reader With a Great Opening Line
Readers in the Information Age are expert consumers, and they tend to make lightning-fast decisions about whether to buy a book or to keep reading it. Many times, they make a judgment based on just a few opening lines. Why read further, after all, when there’s another book – or a post or a podcast or a funny meme about cats — just a click away?
It pays to write a great opening line that hooks your reader and yanks them into your story. A great first line can give your readers the DNA of the whole book, which serves as a promise and an invitation we can’t refuse.
As Stephen King says:
“An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.”
A quick clarification: what do I mean by the first line? I am not being strict here; it doesn’t have to be just one sentence or just one actual line of text. Think of it as the first breath of the novel, the first gulp.
Key Elements of a Great Opening Line
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To read the rest of the post, click here:
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