11 Ways Not To Start Your Novel – No. 6

With Your Protagonist Waking Up The submission sits in front of me on the desk. I’ve read this scene about a hundred times before and here it is again. I’ll probably read it at least three more times before the day is up. The words spin in front of me and I search for the…

11 Ways Not To Start Your Novel – No. 5

By Summarising A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (May 25th 1977 and this one, to be precise) George Lucas used a (by no means new) technique called an opening crawl at the start of a little space movie he’d been working on. In this opening crawl he summarised all the basic…

Getting Into Publishing – Vicki Le Feuvre Agency Editor

What do you do with a BA in English? What is my life going to be? Four years of college And plenty of knowledge Have earned me this useless degree. Opening lines of Avenue Q As I sat in the Noël Coward Theatre part way through my first year at Royal Holloway University of London…

11 Ways Not To Start Your Novel – No. 4

With Onomatopoeia EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOW KER-SPLAT! I’m really sorry to have to tell you but that is the sound of a literary agent’s expectations plummeting at the sight of onomatopoeia in the first few lines of your novel. Especially if it’s written in capitals, as they so often are. This is not to say you cannot describe…