Friday, September 23, 2016

Fleeting First Pages

Working on first pages today. You know, those difficult, nearly impossible ones that you hate to begin because you don't know what to begin with? Well, I did a little researching first and came up with a few things to share with my readers. These elements are supposed to make the pages work better-be more co-hesive, if you will.

Turns out, we need to add several things right off the bat that will not only entice the reader and make them want to read on, but will also set the tone for the book and invite reader empathy which will in turn keep them reading. I know that was a lot to swallow!

Anyway, just to pass it along for your convenience, here are a few of those rare elements that will or will not set the stage and get you going on your first pages :)

  • Setting: Set the stage before dropping your characters inside. You don't have to go into a great deal of description, only enough to ground the reader.
  • Characterization: Don't be overly descriptive, use only enough to get the reader acquainted with your main character or characters. You can add more details later, sprinkled lovingly throughout chapters. And please don't forget to include the five senses and emotions.
  • Goals: It is so important that your MC wants or needs something and that there is something in their way, keeping them from reaching their goal. This adds tension to the plot. And this will keep the reader invested in your story.
  • Stakes: What will happen if your MC doesn't get what they need or want? This is what's at stake. This makes tension. This will be what drives your book!
  • Tone: Let us feel what the characters feel. Put us in the story by setting the tone; creepy, mysterious or humorous.
  • Voice: Voice is everything. It can be the dynamite that makes your book explode to bestseller status. Find your voice by reading and writing.
As always, I hope this helps you with your first pages.