LET’S TALK ABOUT OPENINGS!!!!
Tomorrow the Line by Line contest opens where we’ll see just how strong and/or hooky one line can be on its own. If you’re just hearing about it, check it out HERE and HERE to be 100% good to go when it opens at 10am tomorrow.
One of the reasons I love L by L contests is they make you think about the impact of each sentence…which can force you consider each word. If ever there’s a place in your manuscript to really ponder these things, I’d say the top three definitely includes page one (also, the black moment and the recovery, but that’s just me 😉 )
First lines are vital now like they’ve never been.
When readers aren’t limited to what’s on the bookstore shelf in front of them, they can be as picky as they want and make those snap decisions even faster.
Take a second and write out your opening line. Just that. And, considering it alone for tone, wording, structure, pace, character/setting/world introduction, genre feel, etc.
Now, with your line staring you in the face, check out some great advice from some people I really respect:
Some advice from some great writers
I asked some people: In one sentence, what do you think makes a strong, powerful, or hooky opening page?
A solicitation to the curiosity that begs to be stirred in everyone.
Show us something compelling and unique about the character’s goal, motivation or conflict–bonus points if you can do all three with an evocative voice.
The one thing that makes a good hook is a sympathetic connection. Hook into a shared or common emotion or experience and your reader is right there with you.
An unexpected situation that dives right into the action! If I want to see what happens next, I’ll definitely keep reading.
Whether it’s horrified laughter, abject fear, or gut-wrenching sympathy, if you have me covering my eyes and cringing, you’ve got me FEELING–and you’ve got me hooked.
Starting the book when the characters are in the middle of a crisis makes the reader root for them and invests them in their journey.
Full-sensory writing with three-dimensional characters who face shocking, absurd, or unimaginable situations.
And Robert J Crane who has a crazy schedule right now and told me not to bother to edit him, but that this is what came to mind when I grabbed him:
Uhhh…unanswered questions that you wanna know the answer to.
Have a favorite line (not by you) or something that really resonated here? TELL US!