It’s Day 15 of 31 Days of Writing Tips, and today’s prompt is: OPEN. Click here for more posts in this series.

During the month of October, I’m participating in the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes writing challenge, so all posts in this series have been written as free writes in five minutes flat. Hope you enjoy!




Our seventh wedding anniversary fell on Father’s Day that year—the same day I took our three kids and left my husband standing along in the Cape Town International Airport.

This is how I opened my memoir, A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging.

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When I read it aloud to my husband before sending the draft to my editor, he said, “Don’t you think people might wonder if you were leaving me for good?”

I said, “Maybe. But hopefully that will make them want to keep reading to find out.”

It may seem deceptive to some, but I used intentional ambiguity in hopes that it would hook my reader to read more.

As a writer, you only have a short time to grasp your reader’s attention and entice them to keep reading.

A Place to Land


Experiment with a variety of opening sentences in your own work to see which option is most gripping or intriguing. If you can’t decide among a few options, you might even take a poll on social media or within a smaller mastermind group of experienced writers. Maybe you could have some fun with it and turn it into a vote for your current readers to help you decide. This method would also give you a glimpse into your readers’ taste and preferences.

Whatever you decide, be sure to give your readers a good reason to turn the page.

Start paying attention to the opening lines of books you love.

What’s the best (or most memorable) opening line you’ve ever read in a book?



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