Friday, January 07, 2011

The best start to a book - and how to win it!

Current work: Capri medical revisions
Listening to: Nickelback
Reading: Lucy Dillon, Walking Back to Happiness (enjoying)

I'm not even sure that this book requires any introduction. It's simply one of the best starts I know for a romantic novel; whether you're writing your first or your fiftieth, read this first and you'll find practical advice within its pages that will make you think - and your book will be all the better for it.

It's Kate Walker's 12 point guide to writing romance - and I have a copy of the new third edition to give away. Each section focuses on a different aspect of the story and has questions and writing exercises that will help you make your book the best it can be. Best of all, Kate's book is the clearest and most user-friendly I know. I find some craft books scary - one that had better be nameless was recommended by friends and froze me for a fortnight. This one will do the opposite: it's practical, down to earth and kind, rather like Kate W herself.

To be in with a chance to win, all you need to do is post a comment below: tell me your first line. (Don't have one? Shy and would rather not? That's fine, too - leave a comment anyway, telling me that you'd like to win the book!)

I'll draw a name out of the hat on Monday morning UK time (i.e. when I'm back from e school run).


ros said...

I have just realised how dull my first line is - clearly I need to win the book!

'Khaled's gaze ran up and down, lazily assessing his opponent in the boardroom.'

Lou Gagliardi said...

'Roxi wasn't sure why she was here, or that she had a date with a very fuzzy destiny.'

Heh. it's for a paranormal romance. Why I'd want to win this book? Why not learn from the best at what they do!

Diane said...

Marc Elliott stodd in the doorway of the living room, unnoticed by the small group sitting around the huge fireplace.

JV said...

With a sudden insight into how deer feel, Lucinda froze in the glare of his headlights.

I have no idea what the story behind that line would be, but I thought I'd give it a go. And what a lovely thing to give away, Kate! I'd love to win it!

JV said...

I forgot to check the box to have follow-up comments sent to my email address!

Anonymous said...

I love comparing pitches, opening lines, etc. I always learn something new!

"You're a handsome man," Lady Arlington said. "Seems a shame to blow your head off."


Caroline said...

"We didn't have an affair Marcus. We just had a one night stand that lasted six months..."

That's my opening line! Don't enter me in Kate, as I already have KW's (great) 12 Point Guide! Have a good weekend. Caroline x

linda margaret said...

"I made the right choice" Alison muttered aloud as she sat in the dimly lit chart room; thinking about her recent switch in residency programs from Toronto to the seaside town of Silver Harbour in Nova Scotia.

I haven't ever written any fiction since I was in school, but I have multiple plots in my head and this could be the one to get me started.

Caroline Praed said...

She was late, she was dirty, she was exhausted, and what had to be the Most Gorgeous Male on the planet was looking at her as if she ought to find a stone and crawl under it...

[Hoping I might win as I think I need the help!]

Thanks, anyway, for your fb thoughts in 2010, Kate. Wishing us all a Happy 2011!

susanwilson44 said...

If Abby Tyler had known what kind of day it was going to be, she wouldn't have bothered getting out of bed.

Have to say my favourite opening line from a Harlequin was
"I didn't mean to marry them both"


William and Anna Patterson said...

"When he saw her, he thought of roses and laying down in them."
I need help Kate!

Nas Dean said...

Hi Kate,

Don't put my name in the contest as I've already got the 3rd edition!

But yes, it's an absolute MUST for all romance writers!

Kate Walker teaches special romance classes which are booked one year in advance so imagine her book on romance, how fabulous it must be!

BiteMeAsh said...

Well I'm struggling with two opening lines and will thus submit two posts *lol* yep I'm desparate to win that book!

Luca interest is drawn to the woman staring at him with such innocent fascination, and couldn't be more pleased. "Has she forgiven me?" he murmured softly...

To new beginnings for 2011, my first stab at writing *grin*

Rita from South Africa

BiteMeAsh said...

Nervous tension made her blurt out to Luca "The water here really does look emerald and I had always thought the descriptions of 'turquoise coloured lagoons and white sand beaches' in those Caribbean pirate themed historical romances were exaggeration and I was sure the pictures on tour brochures were air brushed - But," Alixandra stopped talking, and gestured around her, "apparently not" She whispered at the end and cringed.

Okay that it from me, as you can see I do need some help in writing better opening lines *lol*

Nell Dixon said...

“You have to be kidding?” Diana eyed Lucy with suspicion as Lucy moved her office chair away from her desk and replaced it with a large blue inflatable exercise ball.
I have a very tatty copy of the first edition but I'd love a new one, not for me, but for my local writers groups library.

gaelikaa said...

"Caroline was thrilled to see a note on her desk from Tony asking her to go out to dinner that evening."

Predictable, what?

And yes, I'd love to win the book!

Teresa Thomas Bohannon said...

Lila was a shadow witch—a seventh generation, natural born curse caller—sprung to life long years ago in that dark, wet, mosquito and gator ridden deep-South morass known as the glades.

Too long, too obscure, or just too much?

Michelle said...

As Lucy stepped closer to the edge, the gnawing feeling in her stomach growing by the second, she reflected that a bungee jump for charity seemed such a good idea on paper. The reality unfortunately was failing to impress.

Julie M said...

I've got two on the go - one with a cold, winter setting and one with a hot, summer setting.

"Charlie watched the lights of the bus disappear into the darkness."

"So this was Corfu!"

Kate Walker said...

HE had to be imagining things. He couldn’t actually be seeing what was ahead of him.

No, I'm not actually ebntering the contest! I just thought I'd share the opening of my new book, seeing as you all are doing that.

I just dropped by to thank Scary Kate for running this contest - and for the lovely things you've said abut the 12 Point Guide , Kate. Thank you! I'm so complimented to know that my fellow writers rate it so much.

Good luck to all the entrants - and whoever wins, I hope the book really does help you in your writing. If so, please let me know

The other Kate