A friend and fellow author gave me some good feedback on the first chapter of my mystery. Among other things, she noted that I was throwing a lot of character’s names at her, so she was having a tough time keeping track of everyone. I looked through things. She was right. I’d fallen into one of … More Falling into a Classic Writer’s Trap
First chapters and last chapters are often among the hardest ones for any novelist. You have to first pull the reader smoothly into your world with the first and ease them out in a satisfying way in the last. It’s necessary to put in just enough information so that the readers know exactly what’s going … More YA Mystery: Chapter 1 Revision is Done!
A few years ago I was on a walk with my son when he was in seventh or eight grade. He’d just finished reading a first draft of one of my manuscripts. “I really liked Sophia,” he said. “But you’re really going to have to introduce her earlier.” I laughed because he was exactly right. My … More Inserting Characters
As a writer, I’ve long been aware of the importance of the first page and chapter of a book. In fact, I discussed the approach one editor takes to first pages in the entry called Chapter One: More or Less Done. But I think that it’s only been the last few years that I’ve though of … More First Chapters: A Contract with the Reader
I used to buy into the assertion that picture book writers have to be much more selective in their word choices than novelists. In fact, I still believe that in general. But if I went back to see how much time I spent working on the the new chapter one, I’m sure the number would horrify me. But … More Chapter One: More or Less Done
Buy one! Get the second one half off! That’s what a good percentage of the signs seemed to read at the mall today. I didn’t study them very carefully though. My college-age daughters were doing their back-to-school shopping. I came along to bankroll the expedition. But instead of watching them try on things, I was back to … More Back-to-School Writing