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Anatomy of a First Paragraph

The first paragraph is the most important paragraph of your whole book.  Sure, the ending has to be good, or you'll get a grumpy one-star review on Amazon. Sure, the middle has to be good, or your readers will lose interest and forget to write a review at all. But in terms of highest value packed into the smallest space, nothing beats that first paragraph. It's what your readers see when they pick your book up in a store, trying to guess if this will be their next favorite novel, and it's essentially your elevator pitch. This is why you should read my book. This is what makes my book different from the thousands of others you could've chosen. This is what you're going to love about it. All this - and a foreshadowing of the book's plot - must be given to the reader upfront so they can decide whether to buy your book. With that in mind, let's look at some guidelines for how to craft that perfect first paragraph. 1. The first sentence of the first paragraph sho

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