Does Your Novel’s First Line Measure Up?

A re-post. How are those first lines coming?


How does the first line of your manuscript stack up?  Happy with it?  Have you rewritten it so many times you’ve forgotten what your novel is about?  Or conversely, did you come up with an opener so fantastic you rewrote your manuscript to make it fit?

If any of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.  The importance of that first sentence is crucial.  Whether you’re an A-list author, struggling novelist, or aspiring children’s book writer, starting your manuscript with an enticing hook is a challenge.  Incorporating ‘theme’, ‘voice’ and ‘sense of story’ into one magical line may seem formidable – a task so great the remainder of your manuscript appears insignificant.  The cruel reality of fiction today, unfortunately, suggests that unless that first line sparkles, page two might as well be page six hundred and twelve.  It won’t get read.

So what is the purpose of the first line? I…

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