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.

We came, we ate, we lost. #rallyhat
We came, we ate, we lost. #rallyhat
We came, we ate, we lost. #rallyhat
We came, we ate, we lost. #rallyhat
4 weeks ago
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Great 4th of July. Stockton Lake needs dolphins.
Great 4th of July. Stockton Lake needs dolphins.
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Anchor down and fireworks above. A good night.
Anchor down and fireworks above. A good night.
1 month ago
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Doesn’t get much better. Waiting for the fireworks.
Doesn’t get much better. Waiting for the fireworks.
1 month ago
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More filming for Bible Engagement Project.
More filming for Bible Engagement Project.
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Clean that boat.
Clean that boat.
1 month ago
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6/9
It wouldn’t be a trip without books. Most dads have enough sense to bring home toys. But my kids get used books. I found a kids book about a horse named Smokey and the author’s first name was Will. How do you pass that up?
It wouldn’t be a trip without books. Most dads have enough sense to bring home toys. But my kids get used books. I found a kids book about a horse named Smokey and the author’s first name was Will. How do you pass that up?
It wouldn’t be a trip without books. Most dads have enough sense to bring home toys. But my kids get used books. I found a kids book about a horse named Smokey and the author’s first name was Will. How do you pass that up?
It wouldn’t be a trip without books. Most dads have enough sense to bring home toys. But my kids get used books. I found a kids book about a horse named Smokey and the author’s first name was Will. How do you pass that up?
It wouldn’t be a trip without books. Most dads have enough sense to bring home toys. But my kids get used books. I found a kids book about a horse named Smokey and the author’s first name was Will. How do you pass that up?
2 months ago
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7/9
GMA posted the interview on their website and YouTube. If you didn’t get a chance to watch it, check the link in my bio.
GMA posted the interview on their website and YouTube. If you didn’t get a chance to watch it, check the link in my bio.
2 months ago
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8/9
Well, it’s recorded. Should air over the noon hour central. Great experience. And so grateful to GMA and God for the opportunity.
Well, it’s recorded. Should air over the noon hour central. Great experience. And so grateful to GMA and God for the opportunity.
Well, it’s recorded. Should air over the noon hour central. Great experience. And so grateful to GMA and God for the opportunity.
2 months ago
View on Instagram |
9/9

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