How to Start Your Novel: What The Movie TRUE LIES Taught Me

How to Start Your Novel: What The Movie TRUE LIES Taught Me

One of the most common reasons why agents and editors stop reading sample pages is simply that the story starts too slow. Gone are the days when a book could “get good on page 12.” We also can no longer compare our writing to classic works or even books written 30 years ago that started slow and found marketplace success. Today’s novels — especially debut novels — must grab readers from the first page, the first paragraph, even the first sentence.

Despite the fact that the importance of starting strong appears to be well known by most aspiring writers, people still have a hard time with it. I wasfreelance editing a client’s first 15 pages last year and was dismayed to see that all 15 pages simply described a mystical woman walking across the desert heading for task at a faraway location. There was no question that the writer had talent — this was good, descriptive writing. But it was also boring as hell. 15 pages of essentially nothing happening. That is kind of an extreme example, sure, but this problem — starting too slow — also exists in smaller, more subtle forms…

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