Thursday, November 29, 2007

The First Page: Kleenex & Chocolate

By Heather Moore

Can you tell if you like a book from the very first page? What makes you continue reading to the second page?

Readers are different from agents and editors. Most readers will give a writer a fairly decent chance to pull them in. In fact, I can remember several books that I’ve recently read that didn’t fully pull me in until 50-100 pages. But I kept reading because someone had recommended the book to me. So I gave it a chance.

But what about an agent?

They don’t give you a chance if the first page doesn’t pull them in. This may seem like an almost impossible feat. But if you go around your house and gather your favorite books, then read the first page—ask yourself what compels you to keep reading.

Recently I finished a manuscript. I emailed the prologue to Josi, since she had included an excellent prologue in one of her books. She read it and promptly said that I needed to drop the first three pages. Not that the writing wasn’t good, or the story, but she wanted to be drawn in from the first page.

The competition is crazy out there. Write your novel. Then get someone who will be exceptionally honest to read it. Finally, get out the chocolate and Kleenex and start editing.

No comments: