Your first written sentence is the foundation of all of your dreams

You dream of being a published author. Achieving that dream necessitates, of course, that you first have a novel, a short story, or a nonfiction book that can be published.

Forget about editing, formatting, choosing a print on demand house, or marketing your book. All of those unknowns and hazy elements do not matter now. To concern yourself with them is like constructing the roof of a tower before erecting the supporting beams to hold it in place. Sure, learning about those topics in advance helps you better visualize what you’re getting into. But that research really doesn’t move you any closer to being a published author.

No, the first brick in building your dreams is to write that book, short story or freelance article. And a good place to start is with the opening sentence.

When readers go through your book, the first sentence sets the tone of what awaits them. You can’t hold off until your third or fourth sentence to coax them to come inside your creation. If you do, they’ll put down your book.

In many ways, that first sentence sets the tone for your writing effort as well. From the opening line springs the second sentence and then the third. If the main character is doing something in that opening sentence, the second sentence must flow from it by telling what he does next. Choose one action over another – say running rather than throwing a counterpunch – and you have an entirely different story, as certainly as choosing red brick over a glass pane will result in buildings that look completely different.

Have you written your manuscript’s first sentence yet? Do so now. You cannot achieve your dreams until you do.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.