Start Your Novel: Six Winning Steps Toward a Compelling Opening Line, Scene and Chapter

Start Your Novel: Six Winning Steps Toward a Compelling Opening Line, Scene and Chapter

by Darcy Pattison


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You want to write a novel, but you don’t know where to start. You have a great idea and—well, that’s all. This book explains the writing process of starting a novel in six winning steps.

  • Starting the Journey
  • Why Editors Focus on Page 1
  • STEP ONE: Clarify Your Idea
  • STEP TWO: Review Your Skills
  • STEP Three: Plan the Opening Chapter
  • STEP FOUR: Plan the Opening Line
  • STEP FIVE: Now, Write!
  • STEP SIX: Revise

In 1999, writing teacher and author, Darcy Pattison, established the Novel Revision retreat, which she has taught nationally and internationally. After her retreat, writers regularly break through to publication. However, the retreat requires a complete draft of a novel. What is you're just starting out?

This book, START YOUR NOVEL, takes you from the beginning stages and helps you plan the story and get started. Simple examples from fairy tales illuminate the process of narrowing down your ideas into something manageable. Pattison reviews basic writing skills, and helps you get a strong beginning to your story.

NaNoWriMo? You need this book in October to help you plan what to write in November!

In this book, you'll discover:

  • 29 Plot Templates
  • 2 Essential Writing Skills
  • 100 Examples of Opening Lines
  • 7 Weak Openings to Avoid
  • 4 Strong Openings to Use
  • 3 Assignments to Get Unstuck
  • 7 Problems to Resolve

The Math adds up to one thing: a publishable manuscript. Finally, a book that brings your dream novel a step closer! Get started today!


In 1999, I started working with fiction authors on revising their novels. In order to come to a Novel Revision Retreat, they needed a complete draft of a novel and we spent an intensive weekend revising. The results? Many published novels, including HATTIE BIG SKY by Kirby Larson, winner of the Newbery Honor award.

Now, I am turning to beginning writers and bringing order to the writing process. If you start well, you have a better chance of writing a publishable manuscript—and needing fewer revisions. START YOUR NOVEL is a natural extension of my teaching of fiction and will get you past the terror of the blank page. My passion is to help readers realize their dream. I believe in YOUR story, and this book can help make it a reality.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985213428
Publisher: Mims House LLC
Publication date: 06/01/2013
Pages: 102
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.21(d)

About the Author

Published in nine languages, children's book author and writing teacher DARCY PATTISON has been published with Harcourt, Philomel/Penguin, Harpercollins, Arbordale, and Mims House. Her books received recognition for excellence with starred reviews in Kirkus, BCCB and PW. Twice her books have been honored as National Science Teacher's Association Outstanding Science Trade books. The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman (Harcourt) received an Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature Honor Book award, was named a Notable Book in Language Arts, and has been reprinted in a Houghton Mifflin textbook.

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