The Power of the First Sentence

Brenda Hineman has a good article on the Write To Done blog. Anyone  who writes can understand the frustration of staring…

… at that blank page with the desperate urge to write, only nothing comes out. We want to be in the zone. We want words flowing effortlessly from our fingertips. We want characters spouting witty banter that we, as writers, never even knew we had in us.

But, alas… nothing.

Starting is always the greatest hurdle. I face a vast expanse of white space.  The only thing of the screen:  a small blinking cursor that  taunts me; daring me to push it to the right.

As writers, one of the best ways for us to undermine the paralyzing power of the blank page is to focus on writing just one sentence. By telling ourselves, we will write one killer opening sentence, we set a manageable goal that, ideally, sets up the next sentence … maybe more.

Finally, remember that you don’t have to write The Great American Novel every time you sit down to mash the keys. More often than not, a good sentence is all you really need to get a story going.

Nothing new or revelatory here, but a good reminder that every journey has to begin with the first step.  The article has some excellent example of what makes a good opening line.

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