I looked at the first paragraphs of more than 1,000 novels to make this list.
The first paragraphs below are the ones that shocked, surprised, and delighted me. The paragraphs that made me want to read the rest of the book, the paragraphs so memorable that I would dream about them.
Writers, learn from these first paragraphs. When you’re revising the first paragraph of your novel, or preparing to start a novel, do yourself a favor and read through every single one of these. They will radically improve the start of your book.
There are lots of articles with practical tips on how to find a literary agent.
- Make sure your manuscript is great.
- 9 Tips on how to write a cover letter.
- Research an agent to find out who they represent.
You’ve probably heard most of those before. But what I’m going to give you is much more than a checklist.
If you have an interesting story to tell, but lack the time or the desire to write it, there’s a simple solution: hire a ghostwriter.
So many people live fascinating lives, accumulating stories that would awe and fascinate readers, but yet they don’t feel comfortable doing all the writing.
Look, writing isn’t easy. Even the best writers will admit this. For instance, James Patterson doesn’t really write his own books anymore. So get some help.
If you want to learn how to publish your first novel, and if you want to pick up some key writing tips along the way, keep reading.
This is an interview with Lindsey Lee Johnson, whose debut novel The Most Dangerous Place on Earth is getting rave reviews from the likes of:
What is the most dangerous place on earth, you ask? Spoiler alert: It’s high school.
Donald Trump plans to cut the funding for the NEA, the National Endowment for the Arts.
The budget for the NEA is $150 million annually.
To the average person, $150 million a year sounds like a lot of money. But since $150 million is actually only .006% of the annual budget of the federal government, it’s actually quite small.
Here is a list of some other things the U.S. Government spends $150 million on.
As a writer, I’ve attended my fair share of writing conferences: AWP (many times), Bookexpo, Squaw Valley Writers’ Conference, and many more.
So this year I decided to attend a business conference instead, and it was a wise decision. I attended the GO Summit by Fastermind, an intimate, 100-person conference, and it was revolutionary.
Welcome to the New Year!
Have you made your writing goals yet?
Writing goals are one of those things most writers either shy away from or slouch into. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Let’s look at 3 typical writing goals, and I’ll show you why they’re bad goals and how you can improve them.
Writers, as a group, are usually bad at taxes. That’s because we’re not numbers people.
But you’ve got to get better at your taxes, because it’s costing you a fortune. Writers pay about 30% of their income for taxes. And that’s after an agent takes 15%, or after several publications don’t pay you for freelance articles, so it’s really hurting your bottom line.
What would you do if a writer emailed you saying they were going to commit suicide?
It happened to Cynthia McCabe, a journalist at the Washington Post.
She was in bed one night, checking her email, and read an email from a complete stranger named Dennis Williams who said that he’d published one novel that no one had read, written 8 other unpublished books, and that he was committing suicide that very night.
Why? Because Williams had said all that he had to say. Because he considered his life work to be bound up in those 8 unpublished books and one published novel, and if no one was going to listen, he would commit suicide.