05 October 2012

Top 10 ingredients for a great opening

Christopher WaklingChristopher Wakling
by Christopher Wakling From Our Students, Writing Tips

We asked the current Curtis Brown Creative Novel-Writing course students what they think makes a great opening to a novel. Here are their top 10 ingredients – or in some cases, points to avoid! How many of these feature in the opening to your novel?

1. Start fast.
2. Give the reader a character to care about.
3. Make something happen.
4. Cut that ‘something’ with conflict,
5. and / or jeopardy.
6. and / or a question.
7. Go easy on landscape,
8. and weather,
9. and avoid hangovers.
10. Voice!

As well as expert teaching from published authors, all our novel-writing courses offer dedicated modules on submitting your novel to literary agents – and include sessions on writing a synopsis and preparing a covering letter. Click for more information or to apply for our creative writing courses.

back to Blog

Our Courses

Lisa O'Donnell, Author and CBC Tutor

Six-month Online Novel-Writing Course with Lisa O’Donnell

18 Feb – 22 Jul
Laura Barnett

Six-month London Course With Laura Barnett

18 Feb – 11 Jul
Catherine Johnson

Writing YA and Children’s Fiction With Catherine Johnson

01 Apr – 01 Jul

Starting to Write Your Novel

16 Jan – 27 Feb