How to Write a Great First Sentence—with 22 Inspiring Examples – From Ann R. Allen’s blog


by Ruth Harris

No matter what genre you write, your first sentence is a seduction. It can be in the form of an invitation. A declaration. A tease. A promise. A jolt. A shock.

You must be shameless and your first sentence must be irresistible. It must induce curiosity and promise the answer to an urgent question.

You must do whatever you can to lure your reader into the web you’ve woven by writing a sentence so provocative and so powerful that s/he is compelled to continue.

You’re the master of ceremonies and in your first sentence you must present yourself and your book with confidence and authority. If you’ve written a thriller, your first sentence must promise thrills. If you’ve written a romance, your first sentence must promise romance.

Just like a nothingburger cover or a meh blurb, a clunky or poorly-conceived first sentence that’s inconsistent with your genre, will turn readers off and cause them to skip your book.

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