writing problems

Check for innuendo

Today I encountered the best first line ever. I won’t quote word for word, but let’s just say it had the phrase “wet shaft” involved.

It’s obvious the author didn’t intend a sexual innuendo. They were trying to describe the scenery in a dark and dangerous environment. But I giggled for a while. Unfortunately, I had a really hard time taking the manuscript seriously after that.

If they made the innuendo on purpose, and then drew it out in some humorous way, it would make a great opening.

This is a reminder: check your first line. Read it by itself. Then check your first page. Going sentence by sentence here pays big dividends. Set the right tone — and definitely don’t set the wrong one.


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