It’s Friday, which means it’s time for my NaNo update. It’s only been three days, but I have been writing every day.
But I also wanted to provide some help to those of you who might be struggling. So first I’ll give you a quick WIP update and then we’ll discuss how to write that first sentence.
NaNo WIP Update
Word count: 3,417
Hardest part so far: Getting the voice of the narrator right. My story is narrated by a character not in the main trio, so it makes it a bit hard.
Easiest part so far: DIALOGUE. I love dialogue, and it’s be coming super easy.
How to write the first sentence
For me, first sentences are very important. I – literally – can’t write the rest of the novel if I don’t have a place to start.
My writing buddy was commenting on the beginning of my chapters, and I realized that I had somehow channeled my inner Rick Riordan. I used a first sentence that really hooks the reader, and then start explaining the aforementioned string of words. You can use it with any POV, and it can express the MC’s personality right off the bat.
Start with something short, snappy, possibly sarcastic, and you can never go wrong.
On the other hand, you could try something long and poetic. Most books with a dream-like feel uses these. It can set the mood instantly. This could backfire, as the mood could turn people off, but Maggie Stiefvater uses this often and she’s done pretty well. Stick to what you like to read and it’ll be fine.
Describing a scene using the senses is a very lyrical use of the third person narrative.
However, if you’re using first person narrative, then try starting in the middle of a problem. A sword fight, running away from something, falling off a building, etc. If you’re narrating in the fist person, this is common. Especially if you’re writing a dystopian.
It tells the reader that this book is action-packed, probably tense, and the villain is almost certainly the government. (maybe not the last one)
If you want to hook the reader and set the mood of your novel, start in the action and expand from there.
I would recommend taking a look at some of your favorite books and seeing what kind of first sentences they use. What do you like, and dislike, about them?
Hopefully this helps with the start of your novel – we have 28 days left! Plenty of time!
Tell me something about your WIP!