Thursday, September 23, 2010

Perfecting the Opening Paragraph

A topic I need help with is opening paragraphs. This is such an important area that so many authors struggle. I wrote and rewrote mine more times than I can count. I understand that the opening paragraphs will make or break an author's chance of becoming published. You only get one chance to capture the attention of an agent or publisher.

I don’t often give writing advice, primarily because I’m not a writer, but also because unless I read the material it’s hard for me to really have an opinion. Your opening paragraphs are important, as is every paragraph that follows. I have no idea what type of revisions and editing you’re doing, but I will tell you that spending so much time on just the opening paragraph isn’t going to help if the rest of the manuscript isn’t looked at with the same type of care. I also think that a lot of time is spent on the mechanics of the opening paragraphs, or the book in general, when what really grabs an agent is the voice of those first lines.