The Biggest Mistake Writers Make in Openings

What’s the biggest mistake I find writers make in their opening paragraphs? They begin in the wrong place. Too long of an on-ramp. Throat clearing. There are lots of names for it, but it all boils down to this—find an interesting sentence to begin your work! Draw the reader in immediately. Don’t bore them before they get started.

I’m not saying you don’t have to write that long on-ramp, I’m just saying it doesn’t have a place in your edited work. Read the story aloud and zero in on where it gets interesting. That’s your beginning.

I have lots of other tips on how to write an effective beginning. I’ll be talking about this subject at the Pine City Public Library on Saturday, November 3rd from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. This is a FREE class offered through the library. Just telephone the Pine City library to get signed up at 320-629-6403.

P.S. Speaking of FREE! Jennifer Moreen has won the 10-page edit.  Jennifer,  please contact me and we’ll get started. Thanks to everyone who wished me well on my birthday and helped make it a great celebration.




  1. Niomi Phillips
    Nov 29, 2012

    Sometimes in the midst of a project, a writer needs a “jump start.” Today this blog re the on-ramp gave me the solution to the beginning of a chapter and a transition I was struggling with. THANKS!

    • affoster22
      Nov 30, 2012

      I’m so glad this helped you!

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