Learn how to start a novel so that your reader has questions and the desire to keep reading. Read first line examples, authors on how to begin, and what our newsletter readers said keeps them going after chapter one.
Good story openings are challenging to write but an inviting or catchy first sentence reels readers into your fictional world. Here are 8 famous first lines that teach us how to begin a novel in style:
How do you write story openings that engage readers from page one? We look at the beginning paragraphs of books Literary Hub listed as defining books of the 2000s. What do they reveal about writing strong beginnings?
Knowing how to start a chapter well is key to keeping your reader engaged. We examined 25 authors’ transitions from first to second chapters. These revealed several ways to write strong chapter openings and transitions:
The beginning sentence of a story is often what we’ll tweak last. Finding sentences to start a story is easier, after all, when you know later developments you could echo. Read 7 examples of effective opening sentences and the options they suggest for ways to begin:
The inciting event or incident – the situation that ignites circumstances fueling your story – is an opportunity to intrigue and win your reader’s commitment. Remember these 7 tips to write riveting inciting action:
Knowing how to write a hook is one of the key skills separating published from unpublished authors. Publishers want to know (among other things) that your book will appeal to an audience within the relevant market. How do you write a hook that makes readers lose track of time in book stores and library aisles?
The Latin term in medias res literally means ‘in the midst of things’ and describes a story that skips exposition and starts with events already underway. Read further explanation of this term and 6 steps to make your own in medias res story opening strong: