First, the Dragon Attacks: Writing Gripping Opening Scenes in Science Fiction and Fantasy
On page one, a dragon breathes fire on a crowd of screaming victims and gobbles one of them up. Then, the author describes the dragon, but only after grabbing your attention. This order is crucial. You have one chance to make a first impression, so save the backstory and scene setting for later and make that opening paragraph count!
With examples from some of the most popular science fiction and fantasy novels, best-selling author and veteran editor Philip Athans teaches you to start your story with a bang. You’ll learn the qualities of a gripping first sentence and paragraph, the principal of in media res (in the middle of things), and how to keep your readers engaged by recognizing what they need to know in the moment.
Philip Athans is a consultant, editor, ghostwriter, former senior managing editor for TSR/Wizards of the Coast, and the best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books, including The Guide to Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction and Writing Monsters. He blogs at Fantasy Author’s Handbook: https://fantasyhandbook.wordpress.com and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans.