I have yet to write a book which has the same beginning that I’d planned. Several things make the start of a story very important: do the first lines catch your reader and drag them, maybe kicking and screaming, into your manuscript, is the action compelling, did your story begin in the correct spot?
First lines should set up questions. Our reader’s curiosity needs to be sparked. Now, those first critical sentences should be in keeping with the tone of your story and not put in for effect. One of my favorites:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
(Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)
Of course, we want to know why, and the rest of the story attempts to prove this hypothesis. If you’re writing a mystery, that hook had better have all…
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