These are the opening sentences of the first chapter of a book I'm writing on wattpad.

I’ve always been waiting.

I waited for many things - maybe even everything.

In queues to our canteen’s food stalls, for trains and late buses, toilets, ticket booths, exams and their results, everything, and everything else. The list just goes on and on, really.

I wanted to emphasize the waiting but I do realize that I may have been repeating too many things on these bits. I had a number of people read it (I didn't specifically ask for opinions in this part) and no one has complained so far but I'm wonder whether I should adjust this part or just leave it as is.

What would you suggest?

  • This is an Off Topic request for "writing style advice" (where there's no "right answer", because people's opinions may differ). But it might be worth noting that although it's not specifically relevant to English, most competent writers / public speakers would be aware of (and tend to observe) the rule of three. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Feb 28 at 14:52
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on Writing. – CJ Dennis Feb 29 at 4:27
  • @CJDennis The solution was chosen already so isn't it already closed? – Hsu Mar 2 at 3:37
  • No, currently this question has three close votes. When it gets to five, it will be closed and no new answers will be able to be posted. Before then, it's still possible for other users to post answers. – CJ Dennis Mar 2 at 3:51

The opening lines of a book are often viewed as the "hook." You want to get your audience interested quickly and keep them going.

However, it's a delicate art form this writing of the hook. And not everybody will agree that the opening of any given book is effective or not. That is, there is a lot to be said for style, and that has a big part that is opinion. Lots of people like any given author, lots of other people don't.

Also, it will depend on the current normal style in the particular genre. If everybody is doing a thing one way, and you do it the other way, it might work by being exotic. Or you might just annoy your audience.

So it's kind of a challenge starting out with something I presume you find boring. Leading with boring might not be the optimal strategy. Possibly you can slide in some kind of twist where waiting has some interesting angle. Why are you mentioning it? What is interesting about it? Do you sometimes have interesting things happen while waiting in a queue? Possibly you can hook people in with that interesting thing surrounded by the boring.

That being said, the sentences are grammatically OK.

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  • The book would fall under 'coming of age' and 'slice of life' so I think the aim of the hook here is probably to get the reader to relate to what the character is saying. (The next paragraph reveals that the character has always been waiting for someone to reach out to them, which, I think, many would be able to connect to.) I guess my main concern here is whether people might stop reading because they get put off by the repetition. In other words, I want to know how much repetition is considered too much to different people. – Hsu Feb 28 at 15:11

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