Who is on the plum tree?
I was discussing the importance of opening paragraphs to a book and how important they are with Shawn MacKenzie, and we decided to do a Plum Tree Books feature on them. Shawn kicks us off with a brilliant reminder and incitement to be as interesting as we can. I will be following up by posting openers from various writers in an on-going series. I hope that you will participate and submit your opening paragraphs, and I hope you will enjoy this series.
Grand Openings: Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse.
“The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.”
…Blaise Pascal. Pensées
Before you lies a blank page and all you can fill it with is dread! There is a reason for this, of course, beyond fear of failure or success or being exposed as the frauds we secretly suspect we are. A reason driven into us like slivers beneath our fingernails: capture your audience in the first line – first paragraph, at most – or all is lost.
And there is certainly truth in that. When we send our literary progeny out into the world, they land under the bleary eyes of overworked agents, editors, and publishers. If we do not grab their interest at the start, they will not bother slogging through the ensuing 300 pages, no matter how profound or beautifully written. That…
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