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Re: First Sentences

Home / Forums / List of Forums / Young Adult / First Sentences / Re: First Sentences


Tracy Rohlfing

@Dawn I don’t think first sentences need to give anything away but I do think they have to grab the reader.

I dropped the 1st three chapters of my current MS to go straight to the action. I hated to do it but once I really sat down and read it with a critical eye I saw that even though some parts of the 1st three chapters were relevent to my MC’s personality I can weave that in later, maybe in a flashback. Most of it was backstory.

I didn’t realize how valuable your first sentence/250 words were until I saw a link posted on Nathan Bransfords blog. It was for a contest.


If all you could submit about your book was the first 250, would your reader (lit agent your querying, editor, publisher, consumer)want more?

Becuase that’s about how much they read before they’ve decided if they want to continue.

It pretty much brought to my attention that if you don’t grab your reader in in the first 250 words (the 1st sentence being the most important) they won’t read on ~ you lose them. That first sentece/250 is their 1st impression. And that’s why I chucked my first 3 chapters.

Also, my favorite 1st sentence of yours is the Sleeping w/ Wolves.
But I think it would flow better if you left out “fields of farmers near”.
“The wolves howls pierced the air, giving an eerie echo to the farms of Valentine Nebraska.”
That’s just me. If it’s not helpful ~ disregaurd. 🙂

@jessicafriday Awesome info! Thnx for sharing! 😉