I’d just like to share the fact that I’m now producing 10-minute videos (or so) where I critique the opening section of novels.
For me, the opening scenes in a new novel are THE most important sections of a novel – whether you’re trying to pitch the manuscript to an agent or publisher, or whether you’re self-publishing and you want readers to buy it.

  • The writing must be edited to perfection. There can be no spelling, punctuation or grammar errors.
  • Your writing style must be professional. The words should flow, and entice the reader into the story.
  • Received wisdom is that you should start in media res – that’s Latin for ‘in the middle of the action’. This is not always strictly true, but the reader must get a sense for who the characters are, what the setting is, what the world (in which the novel is set) is like.

So, yes. The opening sentences and paragraphs could make the difference between your submission being read, or being tossed back into the slush pile. And with this series of videos, I hope to give you some clues and hints and tips into making your opening scenes as professional and as engaging as possible.

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