That Elusive First Sentence

Diary of a Wannabe WriterThat first sentence has become my nemesis.

I’ve now settled into the New Year and have just about stopped writing 2013 when I should be writing 2014. The new year brought new but familiar writing goals which is to get the first draft finally written in time to submit to the RNA in August (especially as I didn’t manage it last year.)

I have been thinking a lot about the first sentence as I attempt the first draft. How do you pick the moment and the words that will begin your novel? It has caused a little bit of stress particularly as it’s easy to overthink. Of the many books on ‘how to write a novel,’ that I own, having a good first sentence that grabs readers attention seems to be a common thread.

Of course, I know that stressing about the first sentence is daft and counterproductive, especially as it’s the first draft but somehow, the logic doesn’t quite convince my writing neurosis. That seems to not want to listen by putting its fingers in its ears and saying “la, la, la, can’t hear you.”

The first line is important but on a first draft, it’s not. It’s easy to get caught up in perfectionism when you first begin (especially if you’re still trying to find your own rhythm.)

I have had to resort to disabling the delete key and telling myself that the delete key is being too eager for its own good and that it is not my friend – not at this stage anyway.

The first draft is just that – the first attempt. It’s there to get words down on a page.  Even that all important first line isn’t automatically set in stone.

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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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