Leo's Angel Oak Tree

Sunday, April 24, 2011

T IS FOR THE FIRST TWO PAGES

Happy Easter everyone!!

I am reposting a blog from a while back on the first pages of your novel.  It's really important to nail those pages.  Suzie Townsend and Joanna Volpe are taking on critiques of first pages on their blog, Confessions From Suite 500.  If you want to know more, check it out: http://confessionsofawanderingheart.blogspot.com/2011/04/first-page-shooter.html

They have already posted blogs on awesome first pages and two critiques.  I think this is AWESOME!

THE FIRST TWO PAGES


If you're like almost every writer in the world, those first two pages of your new manuscript are hell to perfect, and they are so important to whether you get published or not. It's the first impression of your writing style (and your characters) an industry professional gets, so you better make them great!

At the recent South Carolina Writer's Workshop Conference in Myrtle Beach, I was one of a lucky 20 people who got to learn from one classy literary agent, Suzie Townsend from Fineprint Literary Management. Ms. Townsend took us through the essential parts and purposes of those first two pages. Here's what I learned:

The first two pages should:
1) Begin with a hook: A OMG first line that makes the reader stand up and pay attention.

2) Create an interesting character & plot.

3) Create a sense of intrigue.

4) Create investment in the characters.

The first two pages serve several functions:

1.)Establishes character's voice.

2) Establishes the conflict.

3) Establishes the tone.

4) Indicates the setting.

Then, she asked us to answer this question for our hook:

DOES YOUR FIRST LINE CATCH THE READER OFF GUARD?

She gave us several examples of FANTASTIC first pages. Here are just a few:
1) The Electric Church by Jeff Somers

2) Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell

3) You by Charles Benoit

4) The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

This was an outstanding intensive workshop. Take a look at your first two pages with these things in mind, and see where you can improve!

1 comment:

  1. That's some fantastic advice, thanks for posting.

    ReplyDelete