Grab within the first paragraph - Page 2

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Thread: Grab within the first paragraph

  1. #11
    There is a danger of going too far, at least for me as a reader. What I call the "goofy first line" can distort the time-line, give away too much of the upcoming story, and not even be true.

    I look for a paragraph that interests me and is understandable; if there's no reason to stop, I keep reading and I'm happy. This is a very typical start for me to write: Starting with things happening.

    "Thank you for entrusting us with your sons and daughters."

    Don't thank me, I didn't get a choice; I'm just her mother. The army? When she told me she wanted to attend West Point, I thought she was joking.
    Great start? No. It also lays out the direction of the story -- If you don't like the start, you probably won't like the story either.
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  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    Great start? No. It also lays out the direction of the story -- If you don't like the start, you probably won't like the story either.
    ^^^ That's a salient point.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  3. #13
    "I want to report a murder"

    "Yes sir, who has been murdered?"


    Opening lines of DOA. What a hook that was. You just had to watch the movie after that, just to find out how a guy could possibly be alive to report his own murder.

    It is nice to hook 'em in the first paragraph, but failing that, I have found that the average modern reader must be hooked within the first 7 pages or they will go read something else. Our culture is flooded with media, and it now you even have to compete with Trump & Boris for attention. Why read a boring old book when you can read something trumpian?

    The next must-hook-by datum is the 30 page mark.
    30 pages because that's how much they can read for free on Amazon.
    Some readers (myself included) read those first 30 pages, and at the end they are prompted to BUY the book.
    If they are interested still, they click the yellow button.

  4. #14
    Member Rojack79's Avatar
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    Zeus looked on in wonderment as Ares danced about the arena. Meanwhile Loki was sitting next to her looking admittedly a little bord of the spectacle before him.

    "So this is the reincarnation that's supposed to find my," He thought about his relation to his newest decedent, "Niece?" He asked as Zeus simply nodded never taking her eyes off of her boy.

    "Rip it's gut's out son!" She shouted as Ares never took his eye's off the giant towing over him.

    this is the first chapter's beginning for my own WIP. I do have a prologue in the works but it's so simple i figured i'd give you guys a little peak at the meat of the book.
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

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  5. #15
    Wɾ°ʇ°∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    My current WIP's opening paragraph is:

    It was a bad time to die. So Echo didn't. Instead she opened her eyes.

    I don't know how good or bad that is but I quite like it. It uses a little humour (not too goofy but a little goofy, because that can lead into voice and POV char) and it tries to suggest a situation that readers might want to know more about. In that, I have tried to make it as grabby as possible, but I try and do that with all my lines. Grab, seduce, excite - anything to stop my notional reader slipping away.

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    It's the Mantasy!
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  6. #16
    So this is the first paragraph for a side story involving my top-tier MCs in an adventure together. They retain their base personalities and have some hint they are in a story, but they do not recall their actual stories (at least not yet, ). The story is basically practice to hone my skills and write an amusing story to enjoy in my personal library.

    Max was crouched behind a crate, breathing heavily as he felt the cold beads of sweat roll down his cheek. Gripping his .44 magnum, he glanced around the corner, where two of his officers, stood with their arms raised. Before them was a group of dark, featureless soldiers, aiming carbines at them.

  7. #17
    Oh lord, openings... Yeah, they're important, Sometimes you need to open with impact, sometimes with the ordinariness of life in order to turn life on its head. Mine are mostly psych thrillers, so some will start with the victims, others the main MCs.

    The rev of an engine brought a front bumper dangerously close to Ash Thomas's back bike wheel, and a blare of horn added to the threat as the dinnertime rush-hour traffic built up behind him. Ash glanced over his shoulder and then eased back on his ass, slowing his pace on his bike true 'fuck you' style as he went handsfree on his ride.
    Psychopaths & Sinners:
    The break of bracken and twig under bare foot left a light trail of blood on forest floor as Johnny Shipman walked naked through the woods. Cold sweat molded like a condom to his body, giving a clear view of his pale skin, wrinkled fingertips, and how he walked doubled-up like an old man. Full moonlight kept him company, helping to sheathe the cold sweat in a silver that glistened and shifted as light might skate and shimmer across a frozen lake. Albeit a lake surface ready to crack. Johnny snorted a chuckle: even tough ice eventually cracked, right? Only he couldn't understand why his laughter kept on, bouncing off the trees.
    Today had been a shit day, and it seemed I wasn't about to climb down off the crap cart any time soon.
    No one would look at me.
    Juggling a college rucksack, Sophie slid her key into the lock, then pushed on through to her flat, grateful to be away from the noise and bustle on the street below. Yesterday's pizza from Pizza Hut met her on the table, and she sighed relief as she dumped her bag and coat on the chair and grabbed a plate. Two slices went in the microwave, and she ambled around picking up yesterday's pants and bra off the floor, just on the weirdest, perhaps strangest longshot she'd get a visitor tonight.
    Last edited by Aquilo; August 22nd, 2019 at 12:06 PM.
    "You don't wanna ride the bus like this,"

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  8. #18
    Whenever I find myself hung up on the opening, I just power through it and fix it later when I have a better idea where I was going with it.

    You don't really know your characters until you have written those first 100 pages.
    The same can be said for your story; sometimes you really don't know what you wanted to say until you have written it. Then you can go fix the opening.

  9. #19
    Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    I tried a dialogue opener that led into a narrative paragraph. It seemed to work well, and I'd never tried one that way before.

    Last edited by Chris Stevenson; August 26th, 2019 at 07:06 AM.
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  10. #20
    Sometimes an opening can be too good. Something I read recently gripped me, then I read on further only to be met with disappointment.

    I want to read the kind of novel that feels like it has just as much thought and consideration put into the opening passages as it has for the rest of the narrative - I cannot honestly say that Iíve seen enough in any novels Iíve tried to read.

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