Write Opening Lines and Chapters That Hook Readers — June 6, 2013 Webinar With Agent Victoria Marini

UPDATE: In September 2016, Victoria moved from Gelman Schneider to Irene Goodman Literary. We have updated her submission guidelines and categories below. 

In order for someone to keep reading your manuscript, it has to start strong. Gone are the days when a book could “get good on page 44.” Now it’s imperative for writers to hook agents & editors with their chapter 1, page 1 — and even paragraph 1. But this is a tricky endeavor. Which beginnings are overused? Should you start with action? How much description is too much?

These types of questions are why we’ve corralled awesome agent Victoria Marini (Irene Goodman Literary) to teach the all-new webinar, “First Impressions: Write Opening Lines, Paragraphs, and Chapters That Keep an Agent’s Interest.” It all goes down at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, June 6, 2013, and lasts 75 minutes.



Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 2.37.49 PM u9300_1




You only get one chance to make a first impression. Does your story get really interesting on page 50? That’s a shame, because chances are your reader has already quit reading. From your first sentence, to the first paragraph, to the first chapter, it’s critical to hook readers—and keep them interested.

During this live webinar, literary agent Victoria Marini will show you how to make a great first impression. Victoria will examine opening lines, paragraphs, and first chapters. You’ll learn how to avoid too much backstory, the common mistakes agents get so tired of seeing over and over again, and the difference between an “active” opening and an “action” opening. Sign up for the webinar here.


  • Common first sentence and first page mistakes
  • Overused beginnings
  • The difference between an “active” opening and an “action” opening
  • How to hone the compelling details of your initial story set up
  • How to keep your story interesting after your first page
  • How to avoid excess exposition in your initial set up


Victoria Marini began her career as a literary agent at Gelfman Schneider and ICM Partners before joining the Irene Goodman Agency in 2016. Originally from rural Pennsylvania, she once worked in an orchard, where she broke the tractor, got lost in the corn, and ate all the food. After that, her only option, after earning her degree in English and Comparative Literature at Pace University, was to stay in New York and get bit by the publishing bug. This worked out remarkably well for her, as her list quickly mushroomed in her first few years as an agent. She is interested in both Literary and Commercial Middle Grade, Young Adult and Adult fiction. From contemporary to magical realism to sci-fi/fantasy and dramatic suspense, she is always looking for unforgettable off-the-page characters, compulsive stories, and unique voices. She is a sucker for weirdness, atmosphere, secrets, things that go bump in the night, a bit of whimsy, a twist of magic, or a dash of humor.

Sign up for the webinar here!



You might also like:

  • No Related Posts


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.