FIRST LINES and THEIR IMPORTANCE

May 25, 2007 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment

Over on Crusie/Mayer Workshop the coolest and one and only Jennifer Crusie had offered for us to write the first lines of our novels. The exercise was to see how effective they were. The whole idea is if we had only our first sentence to sell our book could we?

Do you hear me hyperventaliting? One Sentence and the first sentence at that.

The myth is the first sentence is the number one reason all newbie authors fail to ever begin writing. They sit and have a staring contest with the cursor until they throw up their hands in frustration. Thankfully, before this exercise I wasn’t afflicted with this particular sydrome, it’s medical name–scaredshitless.

But I digress, she gave us leeway and let us use at least the first few lines. Here are mine from PROTECTING DELLA:

Della woke up drenched in sweat from the same dream she’d been having for the past week. Murder–the word screamed loud in her head. She squeezed her eyes shut. It didn’t help. The blood, there was so much of it in her dreams.

These are from HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO BET?:

Neil Sullivian shook back the mass of curls that crowned her head, plainly speaking, it was avoidance. Being done meant getting ready for her date. The prospect didn’t excite her, but if she shook back her hair one more time she’d might suffer from a whiplash.

These few lines would make or break my chances for getting published. If I can’t pull the editor in with at least the first few lines, I’m screwed. I can’t take the pressure!

Despite this information the one important thing is to just WRITE. You can change your first line a million times in a book, but you only get one chance to write THE END and mean it. Trust me it’s the most wonderful feeling. So stare down your cursors and write your heart out.

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Entry filed under: writing woes.

WHY NEWBIE AUTHOR SHOULDN’T: read book reviews CLUELESS DAMSEL IN DISTRESS

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