Thursday, December 14, 2006

Don't Yawn

The first three manuscripts I received all started with someone waking up. If that isn't enough to tell you that it is cliched, I can't help you. Don't start a novel with sleeping or waking up. It is almost as bad as "It was a dark and stormy night." It doesn't pull a reader in. Everyone knows what it's like to wake up. Yes, it is a logical starting place, but it is not going to catch the reader's eye. What happens after the protagonist wakes up? Something exciting? Begin with that! Nothing exciting, interesting or mysterious after that? Fast forward until you get there. If you got to the end of your novel, you've got some work to do.


Issendai said...

This advice ought to go into a book for new authors, along with "Don't start your story with the weather" and "No, it was not all a dream. It really wasn't." Amazing how new writers all seem to get the same seven or eight bad ideas spontaneously.

meika said...

Is an opening with a parent watching their child wake up after very sleepless night okay?

Emily Veinglory said...

too true