Thursday, July 30, 2009

The First 3 pages: Part 2

Yesterday we looked at the first few pages of a novel and asked three questions. Remember, the way to keep a reader moving through your book it to ask and answer a series of questions during the course of the story. You want the reader curious. This has to be about more than just the big “will the good guy win” questions, also questions like “Why doesn’t she trust people?” or “Why does he want her to come over tomorrow?” It is those little questions that keep your reader satisfied enough that they don’t hurl your book across the room. The unanswered ones keep them reading.

Today I have three new questions for you to consider. Grab the same book from yesterday and now look at the first few pages again:

1. How many physical senses were engaged in the FIRST page? [Be sure to look for very subtle ones]
2. Find one creative way they caused you to experience something physically. [Look for creative ways to describe the way something smells, tastes or feels.]
3. How long before you have a physical experience? [By this I mean how many lines in to the book before one of your 5 senses were engaged?]

Are you learning about craft? We’ll take it a step deeper tomorrow.

Tiffany Colter is a writer, speaker and writing career coach who works with beginner to published writers. She can be reached through her website at

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She writes a blog for the Christian writer Tuesdays at Writer’s Rest.

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