How to write the first paragraph

83 Opening Lines Of Famous Books That Will Make You Want To Read ...
What makes a good opening paragraph?

Following our interesting discussion last week about writing the blurb, by a strange coincidence Waterstones announced they were displaying their books back-cover uppermost. This was to discourage people from handing the book due to the virus, but it also made a point which is useful to us. They believe the strength of the blurb itself will sell a book.

When I pick up a paperback in a bookshop, I read the blurb. If that sounds interesting, I will open the book and read the first paragraph. If I’m still standing in that bookshop ten minutes later and I’m on page 5 you can probably guarantee I’ll be buying it!

So this week the logical step for us is to share and discuss the first paragraph of a book we’re currently writing, or have written, or from a book we have read and admire. People often talk about ‘the hook’ which grabs the reader by the throat and demands to be read! This is true of pop songs too – an easily recognisable, understandable phrase. This is something that is easily remembered, and that triggers a response. It’s the response we are after. Let’s talk about what makes a great first line, and an absorbing first paragraph. See you on Friday July 3rd on Zoom! Theresa Le Flem


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