So yesterday was my blog’s birthday and I think I went a tad too far with the celebrating… Just kidding! So yesterday Words That Fly turned one month old. That’s right, I’ve got enough hot air stored up that I’ve been able to come up with a month’s worth of posts. Hopefully, I’m getting a refill soon because I don’t know how much I can talk about (kidding again). Anyway, today’s going to be a short post as this is something that calls for a bit of self discovery.
So as most of you might know, I reviewed Switched by Amanda Hockings for this Monday’s Morning Muse post. Those of you who know this might remember that I had a little problem with the beginning of the book… For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, when I say ‘little problem’ I mean ‘ it’s a good thing I was tired else I might’ve deleted the book there and then.’ Yes, I had a problem and it was because of a bad beginning.
The beginning of any book is crucial. It’s our first real glimpse at the story, at the writer, at the characters. In order to convince a reader that a book is a worth reading is that it’s beginning must not make them want to throw up. Now Switched’s beginning wasn’t that bad. In reality, all it needed was a good bit of revision. However, I’m a very picky reader and even if it’s just a simple lack of a rewrite, I will get turned off. The only reason I kept reading Switched was because I was curious as to whether my first impression was right and if the rest of the book was in need of serious looking at.
First things first, my first impression was far off. Second of all, the rest of the book was Ridiculously Good. At least, for a book with that kind of beginning. So once I finished devouring the rest of the book, I sat back and reviewed it and rated it. Careful consideration made me put the rating way lower than what it would’ve been if the beginning had been better.
How many of you pick up books in bookstores or choose the read inside option on Amazon and base a decision based on those first couple pages. Hands up, people. Please be honest even if I can’t see you. Thanks. So do you get my point? Those beginnings are crucial. It doesn’t have to be great the first time around, in fact, don’t get caught up over that otherwise the entire book will come screeching to a halt. It’s probably best to make your beginning the best it can be when you’re rewriting. Now onto the writing exercise!
Writing Exercise 6:
Short and to the point. Get together some of your favourite books and look at their first lines, first paragraph, first chapter. In fact maybe you should read all the way to page thirty. Then sit down and think about it. Were you pulled in from the get-go? Did you feel the slap in your face? The bite of the dialogue? What about the beginning of this book made you love it and want to keep reading? Do you see a trend? Maybe that’s the kind of beginning you like, even if you’re not sure you can still practice writing beginnings by first reading them.
Normally I’d give you an example from my own writing but I don’t want to dirty the clean slate of your mind. I really want you all to figure out how you’d like to start. Not how I like to start. Oh is it the end of the post already? Told you it’d be short. Not get reading everyone!
Dream up those beginnings!
K, the Popinjay