Episode 34

Chase Replogle

There's No Sentence Like The First Sentence

Writers pay attention to the first sentence. Writing great first sentences is an art worth practicing.
Writers pay attention to the first sentence. Writing great first sentences is an art worth practicing.
00:00 23:02

Show Notes:34. Chase Replogle — There’s No Sentence Like The First Sentence

I’m obsessed with the opening sentences of books. Working on this episode, I stood in front of my bookshelves for over 30 minutes opening book after book to reread the opening lines.

By no means does my interest in the topic mean I have mastered its execution, but for the sake of helping you learn to appreciate the masters, I want to work through some common approaches. It’s not exhaustive but here are six possible ways to approach first sentences.

  1. 1. Surprise!
  2. 2. The Dramatic
  3. 3. A Bit of Philosophy
  4. 4. With Voice
  5. 5. A Story
  6. 6. Detail, Detail, Detail

There are plenty of other ways to begin. What matters most is not that you choose from my list. What matters is that you take the time to make the most of your start.

Be intentional. How can you help a reader connect from the first words? Try different openings. Rearrange paragraphs, moving unexpected things to the front. Add detail. Drop a quote. Surprise your reader.

But more than anything else, I hope I’ve peeked your interest in gathering your own list of best opening sentences. I hope you’ll pay more attention to the opening sentences of the books you love.

  • Snow, ice, and minus zero wind chill but we got the job done and had some great dog work. South Dakota pheasant hunting is hard to beat.
  • This week, I had the chance to spend a few days at the C4 ranch just out side of Coronado. The ranch is owned by a veterans organization that provides retreats and workshops for Navy Seal operators and their families. The ranch is ran by the Keatings, a gold star family, whose Navy Seal son Charles Humphrey Keating IV was killed in Iraq. This Veterans Day I’m grateful again for those who have sacrificed, including so many families. Thank you.
  • I’m so grateful to be an American and election days are a great reminder of the gift and responsibility we steward. And thanks to all the churches who open to serve as voting places. God give us all wisdom and guidance. May we honor you today. #votered
  • This weekend, I’ve had the chance to worship and study The 5 Masculine Instincts with the men of @westgatechurch in the hills above San Jose. I’m so great full for the opportunity and for their generosity and spirit. Culture has a lot of negative things to say about men, but weekends like this remind me that God is building his church and redeeming men in ways the world overlooks.
  • Another evening filming for @bibleengagementproject. This was the 19th volume I’ve presented, 76 video lessons. I’m once again grateful for the opportunity.
  • Working from home.
  • This weekend, I got to do a book signing at Barnes & Noble. It was a great experience and fun to see these two kiddos stop by.
  • They are the best.
Snow, ice, and minus zero wind chill but we got the job done and had some great dog work. South Dakota pheasant hunting is hard to beat.
Snow, ice, and minus zero wind chill but we got the job done and had some great dog work. South Dakota pheasant hunting is hard to beat.
Snow, ice, and minus zero wind chill but we got the job done and had some great dog work. South Dakota pheasant hunting is hard to beat.
Snow, ice, and minus zero wind chill but we got the job done and had some great dog work. South Dakota pheasant hunting is hard to beat.
1 week ago
View on Instagram |
1/9
This week, I had the chance to spend a few days at the C4 ranch just out side of Coronado. The ranch is owned by a veterans organization that provides retreats and workshops for Navy Seal operators and their families. The ranch is ran by the Keatings, a gold star family, whose Navy Seal son Charles Humphrey Keating IV was killed in Iraq. This Veterans Day I’m grateful again for those who have sacrificed, including so many families. Thank you.
This week, I had the chance to spend a few days at the C4 ranch just out side of Coronado. The ranch is owned by a veterans organization that provides retreats and workshops for Navy Seal operators and their families. The ranch is ran by the Keatings, a gold star family, whose Navy Seal son Charles Humphrey Keating IV was killed in Iraq. This Veterans Day I’m grateful again for those who have sacrificed, including so many families. Thank you.
This week, I had the chance to spend a few days at the C4 ranch just out side of Coronado. The ranch is owned by a veterans organization that provides retreats and workshops for Navy Seal operators and their families. The ranch is ran by the Keatings, a gold star family, whose Navy Seal son Charles Humphrey Keating IV was killed in Iraq. This Veterans Day I’m grateful again for those who have sacrificed, including so many families. Thank you.
This week, I had the chance to spend a few days at the C4 ranch just out side of Coronado. The ranch is owned by a veterans organization that provides retreats and workshops for Navy Seal operators and their families. The ranch is ran by the Keatings, a gold star family, whose Navy Seal son Charles Humphrey Keating IV was killed in Iraq. This Veterans Day I’m grateful again for those who have sacrificed, including so many families. Thank you.
2 weeks ago
View on Instagram |
2/9
I’m so grateful to be an American and election days are a great reminder of the gift and responsibility we steward. And thanks to all the churches who open to serve as voting places. God give us all wisdom and guidance. May we honor you today. #votered
I’m so grateful to be an American and election days are a great reminder of the gift and responsibility we steward. And thanks to all the churches who open to serve as voting places. God give us all wisdom and guidance. May we honor you today. #votered
3 weeks ago
View on Instagram |
3/9
This weekend, I’ve had the chance to worship and study The 5 Masculine Instincts with the men of @westgatechurch in the hills above San Jose. I’m so great full for the opportunity and for their generosity and spirit. Culture has a lot of negative things to say about men, but weekends like this remind me that God is building his church and redeeming men in ways the world overlooks.
This weekend, I’ve had the chance to worship and study The 5 Masculine Instincts with the men of @westgatechurch in the hills above San Jose. I’m so great full for the opportunity and for their generosity and spirit. Culture has a lot of negative things to say about men, but weekends like this remind me that God is building his church and redeeming men in ways the world overlooks.
This weekend, I’ve had the chance to worship and study The 5 Masculine Instincts with the men of @westgatechurch in the hills above San Jose. I’m so great full for the opportunity and for their generosity and spirit. Culture has a lot of negative things to say about men, but weekends like this remind me that God is building his church and redeeming men in ways the world overlooks.
This weekend, I’ve had the chance to worship and study The 5 Masculine Instincts with the men of @westgatechurch in the hills above San Jose. I’m so great full for the opportunity and for their generosity and spirit. Culture has a lot of negative things to say about men, but weekends like this remind me that God is building his church and redeeming men in ways the world overlooks.
This weekend, I’ve had the chance to worship and study The 5 Masculine Instincts with the men of @westgatechurch in the hills above San Jose. I’m so great full for the opportunity and for their generosity and spirit. Culture has a lot of negative things to say about men, but weekends like this remind me that God is building his church and redeeming men in ways the world overlooks.
This weekend, I’ve had the chance to worship and study The 5 Masculine Instincts with the men of @westgatechurch in the hills above San Jose. I’m so great full for the opportunity and for their generosity and spirit. Culture has a lot of negative things to say about men, but weekends like this remind me that God is building his church and redeeming men in ways the world overlooks.
This weekend, I’ve had the chance to worship and study The 5 Masculine Instincts with the men of @westgatechurch in the hills above San Jose. I’m so great full for the opportunity and for their generosity and spirit. Culture has a lot of negative things to say about men, but weekends like this remind me that God is building his church and redeeming men in ways the world overlooks.
3 weeks ago
View on Instagram |
4/9
Another evening filming for @bibleengagementproject. This was the 19th volume I’ve presented, 76 video lessons. I’m once again grateful for the opportunity.
Another evening filming for @bibleengagementproject. This was the 19th volume I’ve presented, 76 video lessons. I’m once again grateful for the opportunity.
Another evening filming for @bibleengagementproject. This was the 19th volume I’ve presented, 76 video lessons. I’m once again grateful for the opportunity.
3 weeks ago
View on Instagram |
5/9
Working from home.
Working from home.
3 weeks ago
View on Instagram |
6/9
This weekend, I got to do a book signing at Barnes & Noble. It was a great experience and fun to see these two kiddos stop by.
This weekend, I got to do a book signing at Barnes & Noble. It was a great experience and fun to see these two kiddos stop by.
4 weeks ago
View on Instagram |
7/9
They are the best.
They are the best.
They are the best.
4 weeks ago
View on Instagram |
8/9

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