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.

  • I’m working… I promise. Happy opening day. One of my favorites.
  • For the past couple of years, I've been working on a second non-fiction book project. It's still a long way from being done, but today I finished the first draft. 64,917 words. Hopefully more to come soon. I'd appreciate your prayers. We're currently in the process of submitting it to publishers.
  • It’s been exactly one year today since The Five Masculine Instincts was released. I just wanted to say thanks again to so many of you who have not only purchased the book but shared it. It’s been an incredible year with so many u forgettable experiences I’ll never forget. But more than anything I’m grateful for readers. Reading a book takes time. It’s a gift to have people invest that time in the work you’ve created. I mean it when I say thank you.
  • Last year we turned a trash can into a R2-D2 Valentine’s Day box. This year Ashley gets the credit for life size Mando box. It’s getting out of control.
  • Big night. Their first symphony. And my first time buying sour patch kids at the symphony.
  • Snow day.
  • We saw a lot of ducks and only got the chance to shoot at a few, but another great day outdoors. Special thanks to @rwakie for a great day hunting.
  • Taco Tuesday. Yes, that is cheese sauce she is covered in. Who doesn’t like queso.
I’m working… I promise. Happy opening day. One of my favorites.
I’m working… I promise. Happy opening day. One of my favorites.
1 day ago
View on Instagram |
1/9
For the past couple of years, I've been working on a second non-fiction book project. It's still a long way from being done, but today I finished the first draft. 64,917 words. Hopefully more to come soon. I'd appreciate your prayers. We're currently in the process of submitting it to publishers.
For the past couple of years, I've been working on a second non-fiction book project. It's still a long way from being done, but today I finished the first draft. 64,917 words. Hopefully more to come soon. I'd appreciate your prayers. We're currently in the process of submitting it to publishers.
1 week ago
View on Instagram |
2/9
It’s been exactly one year today since The Five Masculine Instincts was released. I just wanted to say thanks again to so many of you who have not only purchased the book but shared it. It’s been an incredible year with so many u forgettable experiences I’ll never forget. But more than anything I’m grateful for readers. Reading a book takes time. It’s a gift to have people invest that time in the work you’ve created. I mean it when I say thank you.
It’s been exactly one year today since The Five Masculine Instincts was released. I just wanted to say thanks again to so many of you who have not only purchased the book but shared it. It’s been an incredible year with so many u forgettable experiences I’ll never forget. But more than anything I’m grateful for readers. Reading a book takes time. It’s a gift to have people invest that time in the work you’ve created. I mean it when I say thank you.
1 month ago
View on Instagram |
3/9
Last year we turned a trash can into a R2-D2 Valentine’s Day box. This year Ashley gets the credit for life size Mando box. It’s getting out of control.
Last year we turned a trash can into a R2-D2 Valentine’s Day box. This year Ashley gets the credit for life size Mando box. It’s getting out of control.
2 months ago
View on Instagram |
4/9
Big night. Their first symphony. And my first time buying sour patch kids at the symphony.
Big night. Their first symphony. And my first time buying sour patch kids at the symphony.
Big night. Their first symphony. And my first time buying sour patch kids at the symphony.
Big night. Their first symphony. And my first time buying sour patch kids at the symphony.
Big night. Their first symphony. And my first time buying sour patch kids at the symphony.
Big night. Their first symphony. And my first time buying sour patch kids at the symphony.
Big night. Their first symphony. And my first time buying sour patch kids at the symphony.
2 months ago
View on Instagram |
6/9
Snow day.
Snow day.
Snow day.
2 months ago
View on Instagram |
7/9
We saw a lot of ducks and only got the chance to shoot at a few, but another great day outdoors. Special thanks to @rwakie for a great day hunting.
We saw a lot of ducks and only got the chance to shoot at a few, but another great day outdoors. Special thanks to @rwakie for a great day hunting.
We saw a lot of ducks and only got the chance to shoot at a few, but another great day outdoors. Special thanks to @rwakie for a great day hunting.
We saw a lot of ducks and only got the chance to shoot at a few, but another great day outdoors. Special thanks to @rwakie for a great day hunting.
2 months ago
View on Instagram |
8/9
Taco Tuesday. Yes, that is cheese sauce she is covered in. Who doesn’t like queso.
Taco Tuesday. Yes, that is cheese sauce she is covered in. Who doesn’t like queso.
2 months ago
View on Instagram |
9/9

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