Sunday, January 23, 2011

Five "Can't Lose" Lead-ins for Your Next Novel

Even rookie writers know that in order to capture the interest of an agent, your manuscript needs a real grabber opening. Here are five no-strings-attached, sure-fire openers that will have your prospective agents slobbering with greedy anticipation.

Women’s Fiction:

Kathy Simpson busied herself at the kitchen cutting board, chopping scallions and trying not to think about the well-muscled delivery boy with the not-so-innocent eyes, who would soon be at her doorstep and, maybe later, much closer.


The sun had just settled behind a mantle of mulberry trees that line the Nile, creating a scene of serene beauty — a jarring dichotomy at odds with the naked fury of the crazed mob that descended upon me from behind.


My sphincter failed, unloading a quart of steaming awfulness into my new Fruit of the Looms, as my left ear was buffeted by turbulence churned by the 9 millimeter slug that slammed into the wall behind my bleeding head.


Tempting as it is to believe that Lincoln died that night, recently unearthed documents indicate the President actually survived his ugly wound and dropped out of sight until he finally turned up working at the very first MacDonald’s in a Cleveland suburb. Here is that story.


In a dust-filled, crashing instant, I realized that my neighbor was full of crap when he insisted that this was not a supporting wall.

‘Nuff said — you get the point. Fill your opening gambits with pathos, ethos and all those other -thoses, and you can’t miss. Just remember me when you start coining big money like the rock star that you are.

Robert J. Wetherall

Last Flight Home

The Making of Bernie Trumble

Forever Andrew

(Available at,,

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