Celebrate Friday with these tidbits of writing advice.
In Revealing Character through Details, Julie Eshbaugh at Publishing Crawl explains her philosophy about expressing character details in fiction and includes several examples.
Then, head over to writer and editor Jane Friedman’s blog to read Perfecting Your First Page: Three Tasks or Exercises.
Writing a novel, memoir, screenplay, or even a poetry manuscript can be a long, arduous journey. Getting off to a good start is important, and good beginnings are an art that can be mastered. Below are a few posts with tips on how to create a beginning to hook your reader, agent, and/or publisher. Read these posts and tell us in the comments below if you have any additional tips. Thanks!
Ground your readers and they will follow you anywhere: “Give the readers a place to stand, and then you can take them anywhere.” Poet and professor Nelson Bentley’s advice holds true whether you’re writing a poem, a book, or a screenplay. Read more
Before you can reel readers into your story world, you have to hook them with your first page. I find inspiration from reading other writers and seeing how they created a compelling beginning.
Here are a few concepts to consider as you craft your beginning with examples from three authors.
Narrative and character attitude. Imagine you walk into a room and you’re engaging with people and observing the feeling of the place. Are the people angry, happy, tired, or sarcastic? Like rooms full of people, stories have a narrative and a character attitude or feeling. Readers will sense the attitude of your story in the first few pages and will notice at some level the characters’ and narrator’s emotional spin or attitude about their world. Check your first page to see what attitude your words project. Read more
Writing page one can be daunting considering how important it is to hook readers and reel them into our stories. Beginnings are where we establish a relationship with our readers. We want them to eagerly anticipate the journey we’ve created for them. So what does the beginning of your poem, memoir, novel, or short story telegraph to your reader?
Consider these elements as you begin writing or revising:
1. How can I surprise readers? One way of grabbing readers’ attention is by using contrast, unusual language, or upsetting their established view of something.
2. What question will I answer? Every story — at its heart — has a mystery or question that we the writer must answer. Does your beginning hint at this mystery or question? Read more