Monday, November 8, 2010

Mangled Manuscript Monday

The All-Important First Page
The First Page of a novel highlights the author’s skill. Not just in writing – although impeccable grammar does help. Anything less than the basics of Susan Thurman’s The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need detracts from the story.
It is the hook, the kick-start to a manuscript and Action is the key.
Action. Capital Letters. Don’t begin the novel with yawning. No backstory, don’t give Deep Thoughts from your MC, not yet.
Action. The voice of the Protag must come forth, er, speak.
Whether for agent or reader, it is the catalyst. It must open the reader’s eyes and jerk that complacent rug out from underneath them with a look-at-me kind of page.
The Action can be physical or mental, tense or quick, but it must stir the blood and pull the reader into your world.
If done correctly, the reader will nearly rip the paper turning to the second page.


  1. It's true. I think sometimes we are all guilty of trying to put the backstory in the first page, but you really need to hook people on that first page or else they may yawn and not want to continue. Lessons learned from Miss Snark!

  2. Aargh, I'm struggling with my first page at the moment :( Have had feedback that I start too much in the midst of the action, so now I'm trying to start in a new place earlier in the story. But it's nowhere near as interesting/action-focused :( What to do, what to do!



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