The finalists have been chosen

I have been to numerous workshops, all detailing the best way to come up with the most engaging openings for your book. I've seen charts, I've heard lectures and I've judged contests... but up until now I haven't found a better way to judge the worthiness of a first paragraph then to read the entries that Literary Agent Nathan Bransford of Curtis Brown received in his 2nd-Sort-of-Annual-Stupendously-Ultimate-First-Paragraph Challenge. I would challenge you to read them all. I argue that it's worth the effort if only to see what works and what doesn't. I wasn't a finalist, but I did enter and found the effort worthy. Want to know what my entry was? You've got to read through them to find it... and while you're there you can check out the others and see if you can see why he chose the ones he did... I must admit... they are all wonderful and had I picked them up off the shelf and read the first page I would have bought the books.

Challenge yourself. Is your first paragraph worthy of a second look?

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