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Top 5 Worst Ways to Open Your Novel

Writing that first line is hard. There’s all that pressure to hook the reader and rules on what not to do. Of course, I wasn’t familiar with these rules when I started my novel so, in addition to sharing the top five worst ways to start your novel, I’ll provide examples of how I’ve committed each of these sins in early drafts of my current WIP Pup.

1. Don’t start with your characters waking up!

EXAMPLE: The alarmed sounded and I smacked the snooze button before pulling my comforter over my head and returning to my dream—something about bunnies. Or was it sheep? I don’t know. I can never remember my dreams.

WHY THIS SUCKS: No one wants to read about someone getting up, making their coffee and starting their day. Alfred Hitchcock said, “drama is life with the boring parts cut out.” Get to the action already! Unless your character is waking up and realizing that they’ve turned into a giant cockroach as in Kafka’s The Metamorphoses, no one will want to read about it.

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