You’ve Got Five Pages, #TheCartographers by Peng Shepherd, To Tell Me You’re Good.

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.


Well then, let’s study those first few pages in other people’s stories, shall we?

Today I snagged from the New Release shelf:

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

What will you, fellow creative, learn in the first five pages? Let’s find out!

If you do not see the audio player above, you can access the podcast here.

I wasn’t expecting yet another story’s opener to be a boss and disgruntled protagonist, but here we are. The first chapter of The Cartographers  by Peng Shepherd is a slow burn, one that uses a lot of exposition to establish the protagonist’s knowledge of maps. The opening lines about a famous, ancient map are indeed informative, if nothing else than to prepare us for THE map (as noted on the dust jacket) that sets the story in motion later on. While the interaction between boss and protagonist Nell feels a little cliche’, it does allow Nell to think on what “disgraced” her from her more prestigious job, and that intrigue hooks us as readers to desire more about this curious cartographer and whether or not she will ever return to a place of honor in her family or profession.

As always, I love hearing what’s on the shelves of your own libraries. Libraries Rock!

Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!

2 thoughts on “You’ve Got Five Pages, #TheCartographers by Peng Shepherd, To Tell Me You’re Good.

  1. It’s odd I get the feeling that if I was reading this chapter it might have taken much longer than the first chapter to get me hooked. You reading it completely changed that feel and I feel it allowed me to get more quickly into the story.
    What am I reading. I messed up. In our little library was what looked like a newish gothic horror story. So I want for it. It wasn’t bad at all, it took be well over a 100 pages to realise that I was reading a DC story. If I had known then I would have gone for the Wilbur Smith book instead 🤣 Hope you are doing well xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha! Hey, those covers and openers can be tricky. I feel rather put off by the book I read for this week’s podcast. It sounded like some sort of intriguing mystery, but it’s hard to be intrigued when the protagonist is making a point to NOT have some sense of human decency. Oh well!
      And I hope you’re doing well, too. I’m trying to balance a MESS of nonsense right now. Kinda sucks. But we’re getting through it. One day at a time, right? xxxxxx


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