As promised, we’re going to have a short exercise for fiction writers today. Yesterday I emphasized how important the first page of a manuscript is. But to make that first page effective, the first line itself must start the process of drawing the reader in. Then the second sentence continues the work of sustaining the reader’s interest. Then the third, fourth, and so on, all through to the last page.
So today I’m offering up four first sentences for you to play with.
First, I’d like to know if you would keep reading after these sentences to see what happens next?
And then, choose one or more and offer up the next sentence or two or three. Hopefully this will be fun….and perhaps it will help you with your own first sentences. Hint: don’t try to make it humorous. Go with the tone of each first sentence. I think I’ll ask even seasoned and published writers to enter if they want to. The more the merrier–and, I just might award a prize for the best entry. 🙂 Spread the word to your writing friends.
Here we go:
When at age sixteen Corbin Drake’s mother told him he had a twin brother who had died at birth, it came as no surprise. He had long felt a piece of him was missing.
Amy Breslin watched as the old man began to shovel dirt back in the hole where her father’s coffin had just been lowered. Then she turned and walked alone back to the buggy by the side of the cemetery lane.
If he had known marriage to Cath would be like this, Tony Leonetti would have joined the Army with his brother Michael instead.
“Never again,” Justine said beneath her breath. “Never again will I set foot in that church or any other church as long as I live, so help me God!”
And, finally, as a preview for next week, I think I’ll ask you to compose a first sentence. That, too, should garner an award, don’t you think? Watch for that on Tuesday or Wednesday.