There is a first paragraph contest going on at Nathan Bransford's blog this week. Yesterday, Nathan followed up with a discussion of what makes a good first paragraph of a novel. For me, I think that a first paragraph should convey voice and theme and immediately ground the reader. I read some of the comments at Nathan's blog, and I love what this person, Mark Cecil, wrote. His name wasn't clickable, so I haven't gotten the okay to post this, so I hope he doesn't mind.
Mark Cecil said...
A feeling that the author is going to take care of you. To lead you along. That he is saying: here is what my story is going to be about. Here is how I'm going to tell it. Relax. You're in my hands now. We will have ups and downs, we will have surprises and dissapointments, but i will lead you through it all, like a guide in a strange land.
So, what do you think makes for a good opening?