Opening Paragraphs

Literary agent Nathan Bransford is running a contest on his blog for the best first paragraph of a story, and it’s worth a look, if not a submission. In the comments section you can read literally thousands of first paragraphs. Read them carefully. How many of them make you want to read the next page, let alone the next paragraph? Pay close attention to why you do or don’t want to read on, because it holds the key to writing a compelling first parapraph.

Unfortunately, many of us think of our manuscript as our child. It was wrought by God Himself, in His image, and to change it would be sacrilege. Just remember, though, that in your manuscript’s universe, you are the god, and you do have the power to improve it. And often, you should. To help you make the leap, read this awesome blog post from Writer Unboxed about compelling opening pages. It just might change your life–or at least the readability of your manuscript.



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