'Come on, dear reader, come with me'

I recently assessed a manuscript for an aspiring writer and was delighted to discover that they understood the importance of a good beginning to a novel.

The opening chapter got the book off to a cracking start. Opening lines are crucial in first chapters which are being sent to publishers because you need to do something to grab their attention straight away.

A number of writers go for openings that start quickly with scenarios that grasp the reader immediately. This was one such case.

All stories should begin in the middle, saying to the reader ‘come on, things are happening, stick with me,’ and this one does it through use of darkness and menace. It all creates atmosphere.

When you have grabbed the reader’s attention, it is you alone as the writer who can lose it and by plunging the reader into the action this book achieved its aim right from the off.

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