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Welcome to another month of IWSG posts. Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh and his assistants for running this helpful meme.
Those amongst us who have written unpublished novels, whether we've submitted them or not, might, like me, feel very insecure about sending the ms off to a publisher. I found this checklist on the blog: Flogging the Quill, where published author and writers' helper Ray Rhamey offers all sorts of tips for unpublished writers, including a free public chapter critique.
I liked Ray's very comprehensive checklist to keep the editor/agent compelled to read on. It had me combing my first page for these elements...
A First-page Checklist
Do you have all these elements on your first page?
- It begins connecting the reader with the protagonist
- Something is happening. On a first page, this does NOT include a character musing about whatever.
- What happens is dramatized in an immediate scene with action and description plus, if it works, dialogue.
- What happens moves the story forward.
- What happens has consequences for the protagonist.
- The protagonist desires something.
- The protagonist does something.
- There’s enough of a setting to orient the reader as to where things are happening.
- It happens in the NOW of the story.
- Backstory? What backstory? We’re in the NOW of the story.
- Set-up? What set-up? We’re in the NOW of the story.
- What happens raises a story question—what happens next? or why did that happen?
- What about you? Would you add anything to the checklist?
- Do you disagree with Rhamey on any point?
Thanks for taking time out for your holiday preparations and coming by. I hope you'll visit more blogs today.