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The Writer's Guide to Beginnings by William Martin, Paula Munier

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Chapter Five

The Beginnings Rulebook I

The Risk-Proof Beginning

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”

—Plato

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”

—William Faulkner

Publishing has always been a risky business. But in today’s volatile landscape, the publishing business is riskier than ever. And getting published can be tougher than ever, especially if you’re a debut author and your aim is to be published by a traditional publisher.

There are only so many spots on a publishing house’s list, and most of those spots are already taken by established writers. To make that list, you need to be better than your ...

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