REBLOG: How To Write A Bestseller With Western Writer Scott Harris: Mile 9: First Line

Scott Harris. An enigma in the Western writing business. A man who has scored hits with each of his releases. There isn’t enough room to name them all here… and now we are presenting his thoughts about writing. Each one of these blogs will give you the thoughts of a bestseller… directly from his mouth! Read on and discover more about Harris’ writing world…


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The novel of 50,000 words begins with the first line.

With apologies to Lao Tzu, writing a book is a journey, and at some point, you have to start. For most of us, staring at that blank page, or that blank screen, with not a word written, can be daunting, even overwhelming.

Fight that feeling, and start writing!

We have plenty to discuss still, even additional things you can do before you actually start writing. But let’s not wait. Let’s write that first line.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

Call me Ishmael.

It was a dark and stormy night; 

All this happened, more or less.

It was love at first sight.

It is easy to argue, and difficult to debate, that the most important line of any story or any book, is the first one. You have a golden opportunity to grab the reader, to pull them into the second line, and the third…

You also have an opportunity lose them. Most readers will give you more than a single line to grab their attention, but there’s no reason to risk it.

Now, that being said, let’s not overthink the first line. The great thing about writing is that you can go back and change it. As you progress with your book, you may discover a better first line, or five different better first lines. That’s the fun of editing, the joy of discovering.

But you’ve got to put that first line down on paper. Take that first step.

If you haven’t done it. If you’ve found a thousand things to do instead of doing it. If it scares you death. Stop. Stop right now, sit down and write the first line of your book. And when you’re done, savor it, enjoy it — and get to work on the second line.

I wish you good writing, and if you have a question or something you’d like to share, send me an email at

Thank you, enjoy and keep writing!


Click here to download your copy

The latest adventure from one of the most exciting Western authors of today! This is “Mojave Massacre” from Scott Harris! A sure-fire reader pleaser!

Brock, Sophie and Huck are still living with the Havasupai at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. But their lives are threatened by the murderous and vengeful Paiute, and Brock and Huck, seeing no alternative, race one hundred miles to a small trading outpost, hoping to buy the rifles that will give them a chance against the much larger Paiute forces.

They stumble across four slaughtered Hopi Indians, track down the murderers, and find help in very unexpected places from friends – new and old.

The final battle is brutal, bloody and decisive.

Mojave Massacre is the exciting second book in the new Grand Canyon trilogy and the fifth book in the best-selling Brock Clemons Western series, following the tremendously successful Dry Springs trilogy. Click here to download your copy of this exciting new book!