Polishing the All-Important First Fives :: via litreactor.com

First impressions are important when meeting people, and it’s no different when “meeting” a book.  Here are some pointers from Lit Reactor’s Riki Cleveland on how to strengthen your introductions.

– sld


Polishing the All-Important First Fives

by Riki Cleveland


It’s no surprise that beginnings are hard. When you finally find your manuscript in the hands of an editor or agent, you want to make the best first impression you possibly can—and fast. A lot of times that means within the first five pages, but focusing on the first five sentences, or even words, of your manuscript can help you get over that hump and make the reader want to move further.

Today we are going to talk about those all-important first fives. What makes a compelling beginning? What grabs a reader and makes them want to read on? What should you avoid? There’s been much said on this topic, and today I’ll be sharing the tips and tricks that I found to be most helpful.

First Five Words:

Now, we’re going to say the first five words, but in reality we’re talking about your opening sentence. Your first sentence may or may not be exactly five words long, but the point is that those opening sentences need to grab your reader right away. Your opening line is your opportunity to make a riveting first impression.

Let’s think for a moment about some well-known dynamic first lines in literature.

Read the entire article at Lit Reactor.


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