The first page of your book or story has to get it right.
John Gardner, the great writing teacher, said it takes only five words of a really well-written novel to plunge the reader into the fictional world.
I absolutely agree with him.
Your readers will know from the first line whether they’re in good hands or not.
Agents and editors will know that quickly, too.
Most writers realize the importance of a strong opening. That’s why I see so many writers posting “first lines” and “first pages” in various online writing groups, hoping for feedback.
I have to tell you that woefully few are on the right track.
I see tons of description, plenty of overwrought emotion, streams of words, words, and more words.
You know what I don’t see?
The beginning of a story.
In this livestream I talk about first pages. What must we include? What should we leave out?
➡️ And what is it about a well-done opening that gives a reader (or an agent, or an editor) that near-instant rush of engagement that signals, “yes! This writer knows what she’s doing. We are in good hands.”
That’s the topic of this livestream. Do you know how to start your book on the right foot? Let’s talk about it.