November 30, 2014

Writing Tip: How Your First Page Stacks Up

Are you writing during this holiday season? Of course you are!
I recently attended the fabulous WriterUnboxed UnConference and had the fortune to attend a workshop led by Ray Rhamey, in which he asked us to submit the first page of our work in progress to see if you, the reader, would turn the page. It's an eye-opening exercise.
When you send your work to an agent or publisher you basically have one page to hook them. How does your first page stack up? 
If you want to see, run it through the ringer - or at least Ray's checklist:

A First-page Checklist
  • It begins connecting the reader with the protagonist
  • Something is happening. On a first page, this does NOT include a character musing about whatever.
  • What happens is dramatized in an immediate scene with action and description plus, if it works, dialogue.
  • What happens moves the story forward.
  • What happens has consequences for the protagonist.
  • The protagonist desires something.
  • The protagonist does something.
Find the rest of the checklist here.

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