How to Write a Great Opening Chapter: a Revised Checklist – by Anne R Allen…

Writers know the opening chapter of a book is the most important. That’s when we grab a reader who’s browsing in a bookstore or clicking on the “look inside” function for online retailers — and persuade him to reach for that wallet and buy the book.

A new writer can spend months stuck on an opening chapter, afraid to move on with the story before they get that opener honed to perfection. They can spend days on that first sentence alone. (Um, yeah, I have to admit I’ve done that.)

Here’s Ruth Harris’s post on great first sentences.

But obsessing over the opener when you don’t know where a book is going is pretty much a waste of time, even if you work with a well-defined outline. What you want to do is sketch out a place-holder opening and get on with telling the story. Get that book out of your head and onto the page.

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