Writing Tip #20

First word watch. There’s really no rule on how to begin a sentence, other than what we’ve learned in kindergarten: Always begin your first word with a capital letter. Otherwise, kick off that sentence with a noun, an article, a preposition, adjective, whatever floats your boat. However, sometimes during the revision process, you’ll notice that you’ve started too many sentences in the same paragraph or on the same page with the same word — the repetition will be more noticeable if you’re reading aloud. The most common offenders, in terms of first words, are articles, such as “the” or “a”; the word “there” (one of my downfalls); the name of one of your characters or the pronoun used in place of that name. Just like with Writing Tip #19, it’s important to keep the cadence of your prose from becoming monotonous, so you should try to mix things up. And what’s cool is that when you change the first word of a sentence, you’ll probably end up changing the sentence as well, which means you’ll be addressing two Writing Tips at one time. Double-tipping. :)

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