There’s a wall by your house. It’s old, decrepit. Sad thing, really. There’s bound to be little furry, slimy things living in its stones. Maybe some beautiful, rare flowers grow just on the other side. Or this is the refuge of the Fairy Queen & her Sparrow Prince.
Writing has always felt like this to me: a curiosity, something to step towards slowly so I don’t disturb the rest of the world. To stand before, nervous because I don’t know how to find my footing. To finally grip, slip, & fall. To grip again, & again, until I pull myself over the ledge.
I’ve come to find my footing in writing fantasy with characters who crack wise, screw up, and hurt. Hard. Come with me now, and find them in worlds of magic that sing with the elements and race beyond the stars.
Welcome back, my fellow creatives! I’m thrilled to continue sharing some lovely indie authors I’ve met in our community. This month, please welcome the thunderously fantastic C.S. Ratliff! Let’s begin with your adventures as a reader. What was an early … Continue reading →
Welcome back, my fellow creatives! I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my daughter Blondie’s announcement that she’s continued her story. Well, we can’t put off sharing that, can we? 🙂 Forward: Deepest apologies for taking so long!! Procrastination is an ugly … Continue reading →
Welcome to July, friends around the world, and Happy 4th to my fellow Americans! Yowza, July already! June whipped by thanks to summer school for the kiddos. Biff and Bash have been doing a class to help them get ready … Continue reading →
What makes music epic? Brass. All those horns just blasting bombastic harmonies. Strings going to blazes and back. Percussion pounding the heartbeats of heroes. And don’t forget the choirs: lots of celestial singing for the unnatural nature of these more-than-mortals. … Continue reading →
Hello, amazing fellow creatives! Here’s to more fun perusing the library’s new releases to see what strikes our fancy. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve retitled Story Cuppings to better fit the premise of the podcast.
As writers, we hear all the time that we’ve got to hook readers in just the first few pages or else. We’ve got to hook agents in the first few pages or else.
Whether you’re looking to get published or just hoping to hook your reader, first impressions are vital. Compelling opening scenes are the key to catching an agent or editor’s attention, and are crucial for keeping your reader engaged.
JEFF GERKE, THE FIRST 50 PAGES
Well then, let’s study those first few pages in other people’s stories, shall we?
The first chapter of Red Warning by Matthew Quirk was a most unique experience. The book starts with one of the biggest tropes one can have with a thriller. (“How do you know we can trust him?” “I don’t.” Dunh dunh DUNH!) This set me giggling which, perhaps, isn’t how one typically reads a thriller.
How will you, fellow creative, respond to the first five pages? Let’s find out!
As I read on, however, I felt like I was reading something from a Cannon 1980s schlocky action film, and that quickly warmed my heart to this story. The dialogue and action all sound perfect for a B film, so if you are a fan of the older, low-budget spy films, this may be just the book for you!
As a writer, though, I struggled with one major aspect of this chapter. In the first few pages of the story, we’re told the main protagonist spy is looking for another spy who also kills bankers and intelligence sources. The protagonist isn’t *supposed* to do anything, so he’s done playing by the rules (dunh dunh DUNH!) and has gone rogue to find the baddie.
This is all said in the first three pages.
Considering the motivation for the protagonist to go rogue is the murder spree, I find it odd we as readers don’t get to see the protagonist affected by the murder spree or see him make the decision to go rogue. It’s as if the story is starting slightly *after* the real beginning, and because we still need that context, the information is thrown at us in exposition. This just makes those murders feel less important than I’m sure they are.
As always, I love hearing what’s on the shelves of your own libraries. Libraries Rock!