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“‘Gone are the days when you could expect your reader to hang around waiting for the story to get good,’” said Greg, reading a blog post on his laptop screen. “‘Today’s busy editors and readers want to get to the good stuff right away.’”

Brigid rolled her eyes. “Let me guess: another post on crafting the perfect opening sentence?”

Greg didn’t answer directly, merely kept reading. “‘It used to be that crafting the perfect opening sentence was the key to getting published. But even that’s not good enough any more– these days, you have to grab the editor with your very first word! How many manuscripts have started with a lackluster The?’”

Brigid narrowed her eyes. “Seriously?”

“‘You should never begin with an article. The readers want to know your hero. They want to see action from the very first syllable! Try to begin with a word that conveys strong emotion, such as bleeding or gunshots.’”

“You’re making this up, aren’t you?” said Brigid.

Greg raised a finger, continuing to read. “‘Above all else, make sure the very first letter of your story is a hard consonant. Never start with a vowel or a weak consonant such as H, S, or W.’”

Brigid shook her head and headed for the kitchen. “The need to fill column space has wreaked more evil upon the world than malice ever did.”

Greg continued reading aloud, apparently enthralled. “‘The letter R is good because it sounds like the growling of a dangerous animal, but your best bet is probably a T, P, or an elusive Q to create a sense of mystery.’”

-The Gneech

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Originally published at gneech.com. You can comment here or there.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 20th, 2013 02:20 pm (UTC)

At least that blog post followed its own recommendations.

Aug. 20th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC)
Alas, this comment begins with a vowel!

Aug. 20th, 2013 05:48 pm (UTC)
I've read so many posts like that of late. You too, obviously! Nicely done.
Aug. 20th, 2013 06:10 pm (UTC)
Read one year of Writer's Digest and you've read the entire run. -.-

Aug. 21st, 2013 03:37 pm (UTC)
One of my LJ friends posts a roundup of writing biz advice every Friday, and I had to stop following the links because I am burned out on advice. -_-

(Also: oh no my comment will never make it out of the slush pile! Curse you, opening vowel!)
Aug. 21st, 2013 05:23 pm (UTC)
Comments must be planned very carefully. Strip out everything not relevant! I like pie and ice cream.

-The Gneech
Aug. 21st, 2013 06:06 pm (UTC)
Mmm, pie.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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