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  1. #1
    Marianne Keesee
    Guest

    The first paragraph

    How to start is the question. After months of research I am ready to write the first chapter...the first page. Is there any trick here, or perhaps an incantation to the muse? Shall I just plunge in? A friend told me she wites the middle, then fills in the beginning later.



  2. #2
    Stewart Knight
    Guest

    Re: The first paragraph

    Dear Marianne,

    I approach the first chapter like I approach a query. Get it down properly, then polish it to be the killer opening you must have.

    Get the hook in then play the reader.

    Regards
    Stewart

  3. #3
    Travis Williams
    Guest

    Re: The first paragraph

    Take all the passion you have for the subject, consider what you REALLY want to do with the work, and JUST WRITE IT!!!!!!! When you let your emotions out on the page and let it shine thru what you really wanna do, you'll have what you need. That's how I start it at least. : ) Hope that helps out.

  4. #4
    Marianne Keesee
    Guest

    Re: The first paragraph

    Thanks guys....sounds like just the ticket. Taking the plunge...splash!!
    marianne

  5. #5
    MAC
    Guest

    Re: The first paragraph

    Coming in a little late on this, my opinion is to start writing. I've already changed the beginning paragraph several times as I've reread. It doesn't have to be carved in stone until you start pitching it to agents. Even then, they may say to change it.
    Every "writes" differently. There's no WRONG way.

  6. #6
    Marburg
    Guest

    Re: The first paragraph

    I agree with Travis and Mac--just jump in. You can polish it and make it the most heart-stopping, attention grabbing first paragraph later. I normally re-work that opening paragraph a lot before I'm finished. Sometimes it remains the opening, other times it might wind up somewhere later in the chapter depending on how the story flows.

  7. #7
    Hal Zina Bennett
    Guest

    Re: The first paragraph

    I don't remember who said it but I always thought it was good advice: Write the first chapter last. By then you know what the whole book is about, something few writers know the day they sit down to write the first paragraph. Do this and readers will say, Wow, this guy is a genius! What a mind! The whole book shoots off from chapter one and hangs together beautifully. How does she do that?! (Little trick of the trade.)
    Hal

  8. #8
    Mark Blanchard
    Guest

    Re: The first paragraph...

    ....is the most important paragraph of the book.

    While I don't actually set out to write my first paragraphs last, as Hal suggests, I know that they are soooooo important that I end up rewriting my first page not just dozens of times, but hundreds of times.

    Every time I open Word to add another days labor, I look at that first paragraph afresh and just before I save for the last time each night I review it yet again. Not to mention that I always end up reworking that first page just one more time before I send a manuscript off. So ultimately the first paragraph is always the last paragraph I write.

  9. #9
    Hal Zina Bennett
    Guest

    Re: The first paragraph...

    Mark, I like your idea of going back to the first paragraph and rewriting it every time you write. It keeps that paragraph current with the most recent writing as you go along. Neat!!
    Hal Zina Bennett

  10. #10
    Heather Savann Henderson
    Guest

    Re: The first paragraph...

    Maybe it's just me but if I sat down to write with Chapter One at the top of the page I'd never get the first word down. I mean, THE PRESSURE! In fact, I rarely write with a specific form in mind; I write and save categorizing for the editing process...could be why I'm still unpublished! LOL! Actually I am unpublished due to fear and lack of self-discipline. But that's a whole other topic. I'm often resistant to the idea of rewrites so I have to trick myself into it. I take a hard copy of a story and pretend that I'm only going to retype it on word processor. As I literally rewrite the sentences, little light bulbs go off in my brain...

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