05 October 2012

Top 10 ingredients for a great novel opening

Christopher WaklingChristopher Wakling
by Christopher Wakling From Our Students, Writing Tips

We asked the current Curtis Brown Creative Novel-Writing course students what they think makes a great opening to a novel.

Here are their top 10 ingredients – or in some cases, points to avoid! How many of these feature in the opening to your novel?

1. Start fast.
2. Give the reader a character to care about.
3. Make something happen.
4. Cut that ‘something’ with conflict,
5. and / or jeopardy.
6. and / or a question.
7. Go easy on landscape,
8. and weather,
9. and avoid hangovers.
10. Voice!


If you want to write a novel and are looking for help with the basics, our Starting To Write Your Novel 6-week online course will help you plan your story, work out your plot and get started with the writing. creative writing courses.

back to Blog

Our Courses


Write to the End of Your Novel

18 Sep – 30 Oct