Manual How to Write Sentences and Paragraphs in Your Novel (How To For You Book 3)

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Components of a Sentence
Contents:


  1. 4 Ways to Write the First Sentence of a Book - wikiHow
  2. Opening Lines to Novels / Short Stories: Examples
  3. Planning a Novel in Ten Steps
  4. Structural Tips

That is surely strongly suggesting that that first impression might be way off base, yet it conveys that impression by making the reader do most of the work. To stalk is a transitive verb, that is, it requires an object. I stalk you , etc. So that first clause feels a bit uncomfortable. And the double participle waiting for the flapping seems a bit needless here. But you only need a little tweaking and this is a strong, engaging opening:.

Example 4 The house had something American Gothic about it, though nothing it was minded to share. I like it a lot. Example 5 What do you pack when you have four minutes to leave your husband? Oh, and you want to know why that sentence works as well as it does? Marriages collapsing are unfortunately a rather everyday occurrence. Marriages that collapse and give the wife just one minute to get away — well! We want to know more. Just delete the adjective. The sentence gets instantly stronger. Also, I hope this writers is about to tell us how come the gun case was big enough to fit a mother.

And the thing is, the best bit of this sentence is the very opening and the longer it goes on the more the writer overwrites that clean and striking opening. The more Thomas Cowper tried to console his mother the more she sobbed.


  1. Performance Anxiety (Live-Fiction Book 2).
  2. Step 2 – Describe the story.
  3. How to Start a Novel - First Lines, First Paragraphs | Now Novel.

That opening line now has real merit and launches plenty of story questions why is this a bad day? Why is a child being buried? Why is this child The Chosen One? Mourners getting soaked. That kind of thing. Pick up.

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4 Ways to Write the First Sentence of a Book - wikiHow

I like the contrast with the more formal opening line. The writing itself is fine. When people get out of the pool their hair is normally already very flat and smoothed from the water. But getting those kinds of details utterly convincing from the off is part of what gets a reader into the story. Likewise fidgeting hands: also a very standard way of conveying impatience. Further into a novel, those kind of issues dissolve a little bit.

Everyone will want to read on to see what follows. Yep, good — cancelled trains as a sign of commuter distress is well-used, however, so I hope the writer has an interesting way to develop the incident. Example 12 I had not been awake long, when I heard the knock on the door, I opened it and saw Sheriff Dennis Munroe on the porch, he stood a little over five foot six, but gave the appearance of being almost cubic he weighed over two hundred and fifty pounds and had arms like a bear, thick, powerful and covered in coarse black hair.

A few full stops instantly make this a mile better:. I had not been awake long, when I heard the knock on the door. I opened it and saw Sheriff Dennis Munroe on the porch. He stood a little over five foot six, but gave the appearance of being almost cubic. He weighed over two hundred and fifty pounds and had arms like a bear, thick, powerful and covered in coarse black hair. Secondly, that last sentence has four and s in it. That feels awkward, especially so early in the book.

Opening Lines to Novels / Short Stories: Examples

Third, how does the narrator know what Munroe weighs? Better to take a slightly less blow-by-blow approach. It was early, when Sheriff Munroe came calling. He stood at my door, five feet six and almost cubic. He must weigh close to two hundred and fifty pounds, and he has the arms of a bear: thick, powerful and profusely hairy.

Writing Skills: The Paragraph

I know that last sentence still has three ands, but the restructuring helps the rhythm, at least to my ear. It has the exact same content as the first sentence, but compresses it into a much shorter space. Result: much more energy per pound — and a much more compelling story. Do you want more help with your sentences?

Did you know that Jericho Writers is a club. Membership of the club is low cost and can be cancelled any time there are no lock-ins. And what you get is extraordinary. A huge, premium video course on how to write.

Planning a Novel in Ten Steps

Loads on how to get published. Opportunities to put your work in front of literary agents and get their feedback direct. And so much more. Find out more. The house had something [of the] American Gothic about it, though nothing it was minded to share. I like both of those. The second is a bit more literary; the first is a terrific opening line for a psychological thriller, or something of that sort. The opening sentences for my five Fiona Griffiths novels are:. None of those are good opening sentences though none of them are terrible.


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  • The opening paragraph to my second Fi Griffiths novel, for example, goes like this:. High clouds scudding in from the west and plenty of sunshine. Read about each one by clicking the links below, or keep reading to learn how you can apply these principles in your writing:. As the Milvains sat down to breakfast the clock of Wattleborough parish church struck eight; it was 2 miles away, but the strokes were borne very distinctly on the west wind this autumn morning.

    Jasper, listening before he cracked an egg, remarked with cheerfulness:. It happened to catch my eye in the paper yesterday that someone was to be hanged at Newgate this morning. I could curse the brutality of an age that sanctioned such things; or I could grow doleful over the misery of the poor—fellow. He was a young man of five-and-twenty, well built, though a trifl e meager, and of pale complexion. He had hair that was very nearly black, and a clean-shaven face, best described, perhaps, as of bureaucratic type.

    Skillful paragraphing aids readability.

    Structural Tips

    It also sets the pace of the narrative, generates mood and helps make characters three-dimensional. So ignore the school textbook rules about the so-called well-made paragraph. Keep these three principles in mind instead:.