Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Writing opening lines

As you know from these blogs, I place great store on good beginnings. This extract from an interview with Nick Brownlee sums up why:
The opening scene of Bait features a character being gutted alive on a fishing boat. Was it always in your mind to start the book with such a gory scene?
"I have been a journalist for the best part of 20 years, much of that time writing stories for tabloid newspapers. The first lesson you are taught is that you must grab the reader’s attention with the very first paragraph, because by the third they will have lost interest in the story. It’s the same with commercial fiction – especially if you are an unknown author. In order to get published, Bait had to leap out of an agent’s slush pile and then make a publisher look twice. I needed an opening that would catch the eye."
Wise words.

John Dean

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