A First Page Check List
I've been catching up with my inbox. It was getting out of hand. Between being in my cave writing, Thanksgiving and the holidays well, lets just say I needed an intervention.
One of the gems I unearthed was a post by Ray Rhamey of the Flogged Quill. (follow the link to see original article)
The Challenge: Does This Narrative Compel You To Turn the Page?
It's the first page that grabs the reader. Many times its the first sentence.
Here is Ray's 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.
• There's enough of a setting to orient the reader as to where things are happening.
• It happens in the NOW of the story.
• Backstory? What backstory? We're in the NOW of the story.
• Set-up? What set-up? We're in the NOW of the story.
• What happens raises a story question-what happens next? or why did that happen?
I remember the first draft of my first story. I eagerly read it at literary group meeting to three well published authors. I had worked hard on the story especially the opening. I saw it as a movie. The first thing I see in a movie is the setting. So, I diligently, and meticulously, described the scene.
Are you laughing? They loved the description. They told me to save it for someplace else but to come up with something more compelling. It was replaced with a fight scene.
Let's Talk About It.
Think about some of the books you've read or written. How did they begin? What did you like, or not like about it?
Post contributed by Ruth A. Casie
Ruth writes contemporary and historical fantasy romance for Carina Press, Harlequin and Timeless Scribes Publishing. Formerly from Brooklyn, New York, she lives in New Jersey with her very supportive husband Paul.
Her latest book is Knight of Rapture, a Historical PNR Fantasy, with Timeless Scribes Publishing.
For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is the easiest part of his quest.Bran, the dark druid, follows Arik across the centuries, tireless in his quest for revenge. He’ll force Arik to make a choice, return to save his beloved family and home or stay in the 21st century and save Rebeka. He can’t save them both.
Rebeka Tyler has no recollection of where she’s been the past five months. On top of that, ownership of her home, Fayne Manor, is called into question. When accidents begin to happen it looks more and more like she is the target. Further complicating things is the strange man who conveniently appears wherever trouble brews—watching her, perhaps even….protecting her? Or is he a deliberate attempt to distract her? Rebeka can only be sure of one thing—her family name and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall… in any century.