Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Keep 'Em Hooked

We all know how crucial the first paragraph of a novel is. It must draw the reader in, provide certain details about character or plot, be VERY well-written, etc. Some writers probably spend more time on that opening paragraph than on the rest of the novel. Okay, so that's a slight exaggeration, but you get my point...

Well, what about the first paragraph of new chapters later on in that novel? Aren't they pretty important, too? I've always thought so. I've always seen first paragraphs as a challenge to KEEP the reader. Hopefully, yes, my opening-chapter paragraph "hooked" them. But I think it's my responsibility to keep them on the line. And one way I like to do that is to try and make opening paragraphs of new chapters (or even new scenes) fresh and interesting. Creative. I try to work almost as hard on those other "first" paragraphs as I did on that first-chapter paragraph.

Plus, when I start out a chapter or scene in a fresh, exciting way, that makes me excited about the material, and I feel more energized. I try hard never to have a bland or mediocre "first" paragraph anywhere, in the hopes that I'll keep up the level of creativity in every chapter of the novel. Not easy, not always do-able, but it's always my goal.

1 comment:

  1. I remember reading Nathan Bransford's book on writing, and at the time it seemed impossible to think that every paragraph in a novel had to be as great as the first one. But it's quite true.