Wednesday, October 17, 2012

HWCAC: First Pages & Opinions

Intriguing opening pages makes
Voldie smile!
Hello fellow death eaters! This week, we will focus on successful first pages and tips and tricks to write one. I cannot stress how important first impressions are. I've read that most agents don't get past the first page. By those 300 - 450 words, they can tell how great your novel is. Ideally, first pages are just as important as your query.

Your words on the page sets the tone for your entire novel. Your goal is to grab the readers attention past the query or synopsis. DON'T THROW AWAY YOUR PUBLISHING OPPORTUNITY!

Some of these things are repeats but they are worth writing again!

Do not start with dialogue:
it shows your acquisitioner/agent that you are an amateur!! Sure there are a few great novels that start out with dialogue. But it is a known fact that when agents go through the slush pile, dialogue at the beginning is one thing that is a major turn-off. Open with some action then give us that dialogue.

Watch wordiness:
If you are too wordy on the first page, more than likely, you will be wordy throughout the entire novel. 

Misspelled/misuses of words:
misspelled or the wrong usages of words in the first page is a no-no. It looks sloppy. This is where having a critique partner, editor, or AWESOME writing clinic will help! :)

Grab our attention:
I think this is the hardest one. Make us beg for more of your story. Give us something that we cannot turn down.  Make your words come alive on the pages.  You are a writer...use your skills and canvas to paint us a picture.

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You may find that after you finish your novel, you don't really like your first page anymore or it doesn't set the right tone. Rewrite it! It is only 1 page and you surely don't want that 1 page to ruin your chances of being published.With each revision, your first page only gets stronger and eventually it will be perfect.

Good luck Minions! I really hope you take the creative critiques positively and are able to improve your first page just as you did your queries! I will post my first page on Thursday! YAY! I am still trying to get back in the groove of visiting everyone's blogs after my wonderful vacation so please bear with me. I haven't given up on all of you!




8 comments:

  1. Welcome back! Great advice here. I wasn't aware of the no dialogue rule and I will definitely abide by it.

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    Replies
    1. When I was researching first pages, dialogue as your opening was a common thing that agents hated! :) Hope everything is going well so far...I plan to stop by this afternoon and read your first page!

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  2. Hey Courtney. I'm glad you enjoyed your vacation:)

    I have heard about the dialogue thing. They say they want to know the character before they talk. Thanks fr sharing this advice. It's great:)

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    Replies
    1. Exactly and that makes sense!! The vacation was wonderful! Looking forward to the next...lol!!!

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  3. So, my query is from Ashton's POV. Starting my first page from River's POV will not work. River is not aware, yet, that someone is watching her, so I don't know how to get Ashton in there...

    Also, I had River talking internally, but when I added Ashton's intro, which obviously was not a good idea, I removed the italics.

    River talks to herself a lot. It's part of her character trait.. She rationalizes her every move, and the move everyone else.

    After everyone's comments, I feel hopeless. Not to cry on your shoulder. Don't think that. It's just I'm confused...Yikes!!

    Thanks for your advice. I need to go edit, or write, or something....

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    Replies
    1. It's ok! You can work through this. Does the novel switch point of views through out? Is River the Princess you refer to in your query?

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  4. The novel is told through 2 POV and I distribute the POV evenly. Generally, I have 2 or 3 chapters form Ashton, and then 2 or 3 from River.

    *Spoiler Alert*
    River is not the Princess, but she is the link between Ashton and the princess:)

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  5. See, river is the memory book and the memory keeper part and Ashton is the knight in shining armor with rusted armor and all part. It's really his story.

    Then there's Shae, with her "I'm a princess" attitude. So annoying actually. She's in the story a lot but not in her POV.

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