HOW TO… #3 – WRITE THE FIRST SENTENCE

Investing importance in the first sentence of your text when you’re getting started is by definition a waste of time. Why? Because there’s a 90% chance, if not more, that it is going to change.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, writing IS editing. You cannot afford to get attached to your own words, because you are going to shape and reshape them incessantly. Focussing on your opening line is the best way to put pressure on yourself for no valid reason and prevent yourself from starting your exploration.

All you need to do, at this point, is get started and focus on your story and your story alone. And accept that writing is an ongoing process, that you will change your mind more times than you ever thought possible and it is part of the fun!

It is only when you are near completion, that it will be time for you to come back to your opening sentence and craft it. By then, you will have flexed your writing muscles for quite some time and you will have a solid grasp on your stories and characters. Then, and only then, will you know what function to give your very first sentence: hook, introductory or simply descriptive, and how to set the tone of your story. Then, and only then, will you be ready to agonise over every word and punctuation sign.

And if this post is proving a frustrating read, remember :

‘A word after a word after a word is power’
(Margaret Atwood).

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