There are no hard and fast rules for writing that all-important first sentence of a novel, but I like to think of it as an invitation to a reader that will make them want to read on, a hint of what is too come without revealing too much.
An effective first sentence establishes an important aspect of the book. You could begin with a short statement of a fact that plunges the reader headlong into the story, or a line of dialogue that establishes the character of story’s narrator.
I think it’s best to avoid long, waffling description as this tends to put readers off, but a short, effective first sentence can set the style and mood of a novel, if it is comical, serious or even shocking!
What a writer is doing with a first sentence is showing the reader that something interesting is going on, encouraging them to take their first step into the world of the book.
Good luck to everyone taking part in NaNoWriMo.
Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, ‘French Kissing’ won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition, When not writing or reading, Lynne can usually be found at the theatre or exploring a foreign city – Paris, New York, Rome, Copenhagen, Seattle, Reykjavik – writer’s notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.
Lynne’s website: www.lynneshelby.com
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.