Begin Your Story With The Problem

A great opening will pull readers into your novel and not allow them put it down. This is your chance to hook them with a single, bold statement, usually one that has shock value. Whether your readers laugh or gasp or worry, the open creates a need to find out what happens next.

You better not never tell nobody but God. —The Color Purple by Alice Walker

We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall. —Tracks by Louise Erdrich

He should never have taken that shortcut. —Timeline by Michael Crichton

A screaming comes across the sky. —Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

Marley was dead: to begin with. —A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge. —Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

It was the day my grandmother exploded. —The Crow Road by Iain M. Banks

The second time Ian Dunne came into my life, I was trapped under a pile of bodies, behind a sheet of plate glass. —Hand Me Down by Lee Nichols

On the morning of her ninth birthday, the day after Madam Francoise Derbanne slapped her, Suzette peed on the rosebushes. —Cane River by Lalita Tademy

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. —The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

The gale tore at him and he felt its bite deep within and he knew that if they did not make landfall in three days they would all be dead. Too many deaths on this voyage, he thought, I’m Pilot-Major of a dead fleet. —Shogun by James Clavell

Three days ago Emily Thompson had been Southside’s heir apparent. Every soldier in the city had been hers to command. Now the guards outside her door were the only people she had seen since her arrest. —The Night Watch by Sean Stewart

He hardly felt the hit, but he heard it. The muffled roar shook the stick slightly, and he looked out to see the end of his right wing shatter and flake away. —Thai Horse by William Diehl

Written by The UnNovelist
The Unnovelist