A breakdown on the power of novels’ first lines. Click and read for the gritty details.
As a writer, I don’t always have the time to read, because I spend that time writing. Duh. The past month I have made it a point to try and read more often instead of other activities. Movies, music, video games all require a much shorter attention span, so much so that we multitask during them. How often have you watched a movie while browsing the Internet on your phone? It’s not that the movie is boring, although sometimes that’s the case, we’re just used to constant stimulation. Reading is a great way to expand focus and patience.
The first line of a novel is incredibly important. I feel we all know this fact. Look up to the first link on this page. What we’re a little fuzzy on is what’s most important. To show the character? To set the conflict? To give a sense of the world? This article gives many of the key points on what to prioritize in the first five pages.
Characters are crucial to me. I love to concentrate on them and create interesting character arcs. The type of person, their kind of personality, their impulses, all of these traits have to go in to each character and go through changes in the story. Play around and have fun!
I agree that courses and lectures hurt writers. They create an artificial hierarchy and ladder to climb, and terrible assumptions creep in. Receiving a 100% grade on a creative writing course doesn’t mean the writing is good, or interesting, and will win awards. It doesn’t work that way. It’s all in the writer to have an imagination to break new ground. There’s no A+, B-, C, D, or F in the real world, so don’t live it with that perspective.
A sensible list for self-publishers or anyone new to writing should read.
A pessimistic, but important article. We’re living in the age where everyone can publish. Authors are taking those stories rejected by agents and putting them on Kindle. New writers are typing as fast as they can to make a name for themselves. The article cites two big name self-published authors and how their newest titles are not selling as well as their successes, which is one of the dumber things I’ve seen. It’s a cheap scare tactic to show, “Hey! Even these authors are not selling so great anymore!” even though that can go to any traditional author as well.
Stephenie Meyer’s The Host wasn’t as successful as her Twilight series, which might as well be that no one read it. Remember folks, it’s hard being a writer.
I feel people put too much stock in a writing ritual. We all can’t be writing machines that put out multiple novels in a month; it just doesn’t happen. Writing is exhausting in short bursts, and draining over the months it takes to completion. Try and not be so hard on yourself.