Here’s a great short book writing tip I had to share.
After a bit of a false start with her first chapter, Bonnie Leonard returned to book writing class the next week having begun again. She shared a brilliant strategy I plan to try myself: she asked herself how she could start her book–and each chapter–with a line that immediately drew in her readers.
Bonnie’s solution was to write down the first line of 15 books she had around the house and see which ones worked and why.
The result? When she shared her first sentences in class, we all agreed they were winners. Here are a few:
- “I headed for my destination with a quickened pace and single-minded focus…”
- “After the dinner of a lifetime, I wandered slowly back to my current residence – a family guest house in Bangalore.”
- “The taxi driver dropped off the two other passengers at Hong Kong’s luxurious hotel, The Peninsula, then turned to ask me for a third time, ‘What address, hotel?'”
I love the last one, as you just know you’re in for an off-the-beaten-track adventure when the taxi driver can’t place the hotel. The whole chapter is filled with humor.
Try it yourself. Find ten books you enjoyed and books that have done well and write down the very first sentence.
Which ones grab you? See if you can figure out why they do. What did you learn?
What might you do to draw your readers in?
Note: Bonnie Leonard is a certified Life Coach and former Dean of Continuing Education at Wellesley College. You can find out more about Bonnie’s new nine-week journaling program, Reinvent Your Life ~ Write Now, which emerged from her years of experience empowering women to create new lives for themselves.
Please share your first sentences below (or any writing tips as well).