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This post is for those of you are ready to tackle your book project, beginning at the beginning.
Photo Credit And man, that beginning can be a toughie. Richard Peck writes his entire novel, then tosses out the first chapter without reading it and writes it again. Why am I thinking of these things? Why will they read—and keep reading—this book?
Before you type those first words, it can be helpful to paint a mental picture of your ideal reader. What will he or she look for in a book? What will they love about your story? Keep your answers in mind as you write.
Who is the heart of the story? You need to bring them to life in a few swift brush strokes.
You need to show off their strengths enough that a reader will be willing to stick with the character through a few hundred pages. Make sure the opening scene gives you some way toand how can you reveal it in the opening pages?
What does your main character need or desire? Think about how you can show what your main character needs or wants in the opening pages, which will hint at the conflict to come.
How can you show the elements most important to plot and character, rather than just telling the reader? In order for readers to understand the changes that your character faces, they need to understand her starting point.
Without this incident, you have no story. What background information is absolutely essential to know in the opening paragraphs and pages? What information does NOT need to be revealed until later in the story? Sometimes backstory absolutely must make an appearance in the opening pages—but not nearly as often as we writers like to think.
Pare background information down to the bare minimum so you can pull readers more quickly into the story action. Where is the story going? How are you going to surprise your reader? Plot twists and reversals keep readers reading, while predictable sequences of events can be the death of a story.
What promise does your story make to your readers, and how will you keep that promise? Thanks for adding this to the list, Alexa. Even in the opening scene, the author is presenting a particular story type to the reader, and each story type has an implied promise.
What will your reader expect from your opening? Although you want to keep some surprises up your sleeve, you also want to remain true to the promises unfurled in the opening.It’s not enough to say you want to make a living as a writer; Let’s turn your perfect dream into an imperfect reality — one where you’re making enough money as a writer to support yourself, I started off by writing a novel–which I’m still editing (hopefully to be done soon!)–but have tried my hand at guest-blogging and.
And yes, while it is always a good strategy to have several books out there, it’s also possible to write a book that sells so well, you can live off it. It’s (almost) happened to me. You can also create products based off the book to further diversify and increase your chances of living off your writing.
A few years back, I attended Donald Mass’s Writing the Breakout Novel workshop, where he recommended allowing your character to be heroic in some small way in the first chapter.
In the opening pages, what will “wow” your reader? Teach Yourself: Writing a Novel 1st Edition. would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE. Tell the Publisher! I loved this book and will always keep it close at hand while writing. I have heard it was a must have for writers and I /5(4).
This sounds obvious, but it may be the most overlooked step in the process. You write a book by deciding first what you’re going to write and how you’re going to write it. Staying motivated: Once you start writing, you will face self-doubt and overwhelm and a hundred other adversaries.
Planning ahead for those obstacles ensures you won’t quit when they come. Fellow critique group member (and amazing writer) Julie Peters says she writes her book’s ending before writing the rest of the book. She’s not an avid outliner—but by having a clear destination in mind, she can make sure that her story stays on track.