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There’s no freer feeling than sitting before a blank page, eager to spill the words from your mind so that you can fill it with creativity and wonder. That’s the beauty of writing. One minute you’re sat at work, wishing you weren’t; daydreaming the day away. And the next, you’re exploring the white shores of planet Duawko, with a group of your closest friends.

Okay… So who cares if Duawko isn’t a real planet, and that you made up all the people in that friendship group? Certainly not you. You’re a writer. It’s what you do. And that is what we want you to realise.

With all the information out there – all the details regarding agents and editors and marketing (the publishing industry in general) – it’s very easy to forget the real important stuff. It’s easy to get caught up in this swirling storm, and even easier to get swallowed up in its dark and draining depths.

But do you know what’s easier?

Taking writing back to its purest form; doing it for no other reason than to fill that hole in your heart that made you want to write in the first place. It doesn’t have to be over-complicated. It just has to be done. Day in and day out, over and over and over again.

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An Obsession With Your Opening Sentence Isn’t Healthy

Writing should be fun and freeing – we’ve covered that. And at the beginning of the process, during the first draft when you’re writing those first couple paragraphs, this theme is even more important. You’ve got to enjoy the freedom of a first draft, because sadly, it doesn’t last forever.

That’s why this whole industry concern about mastering the first sentence is slightly worrying. Sure, you want the first sentence to be gripping, but you don’t have to obsess over it and overthink it to high hell.

As long as your opener is captivating, and makes the reader ask like a bazillion different questions, it’s perfectly fine. Any other details about it are totally up to you. There have been an amazing list of truly outstanding opening sentences over the decades, but none of those would have existed at all if the magnificent authors who penned them followed these unwritten (and sometimes even written) rules.

So think of opening lines like that. Think of them as a first impression. You want to give the reader a little about your story, a little about your protagonist, and a lot about you as a writer.

The rest of the details simply don’t matter.

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