Category Archives: On Writing

Last First Sentences – My Own Petard

This past week we’ve looked at more than a dozen story openings, and hopefully the exercise has been of some value to both the writers out there and the readers.  My thanks to all of the authors whose works were … Continue reading

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Third and Final First Sentences

First sentences matter.  People are judgy and they love to find reasons to reject your works.  Knowing the how and why people judge can help you writers make sales, and they can help you readers be better judges of whether … Continue reading

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Second First Sentences

Happy All Saints Day!  Don’t forget to ask your favorite Saint to put in a good word for you with the man upstairs.  That’s what they’re here for! Today we continue our look at the first sentences of stories you … Continue reading

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No NaNoWriMo Fo Jo Mo

Nothing against it, just seems counterproductive for a writer in my position. Writing a novel in a single month represents a considerable challenge for new and old writers alike.  Tapping into the inspirational support of a host of like minded … Continue reading

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More First Sentences

Yesterday we looked at three opening sentences of classic pulp stories.  Today let’s take a closer look at three contemporary short stories published in Issue 9 of Cirsova Magazine.  One of the best of the current crop of short fiction … Continue reading

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First Sentences, Examples From the Pulps

In the interests of learning from the masters, here are a few examples of evocative first sentences taken from a random scattering of works.  As with yesterday’s assignment, consider how each sentence hooks your attention, declares stakes, identifies the mood … Continue reading

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First Sentences – An Exercise for Readers and Writers

First impressions matter, all the more so when you’re writing a short story.  Having just dropped three to twelve bucks on a novel, a reader might give you a few pages to correct for a rough opening.  When you’ve only … Continue reading

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