Tina Ann Forkner
There is a lot of buzz around town about a new business that recently opened in my community. From what I hear, it’s already booming just a few weeks in. This new business is a cocktail lounge, and while I’m not familiar with what it takes to open a lounge, I couldn’t help but notice that the owners spent a great deal of time preparing for the grand opening. Every time I passed by, they were working on making it look good. They knew that if they wanted customers to return, they would need to plan a fabulous opening that would make customers want more.
The same can be applied to the opening of a novel. If you want a reader to continue reading, then your opening must be grand.
When I say grand, I don’t mean complicated. I just mean the opening needs to succinctly give the reader a taste of what’s to come and make them want more. I have had the pleasure of being a judge in several writing contests, and I have noticed that most openings of unpublished manuscripts are lackluster and do very little to set the tone or hook you in. In fact, if I were not a judge, I would not read past any of those openings. That’s not good news since in the publishing field, writers must grab an editor from the first page, if not the first paragraph – even the first sentence – or your time is up.
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