The Ever-Important First Five Pages

So I was writing over at Popculture Divas last week (new URL, by the way: I wrote about favorite first lines of novels, which is a topic I covered here, too, but it’s a topic I never tire of. (If you never tire of it either, please go over to Popculture Divas and leave me a comment!)

Anyway, it’s particularly on my mind lately because I’m studying my own first lines of the manuscripts I’ve written — studying first five pages, really.

The first five pages are of huge importance to a novel. Noah Lukeman even wrote about this in a how-to book called The First Five Pages, which I read (although I found it almost too basic. I guess I wanted something more).

The reason the first five pages are of such importance to writers is two-fold: for one, they’re important to your reader. Publishers say that readers often open a book in a book store, scan the first page or two, then make their buying decision. With Amazon, readers do the same thing with a click of a button, scanning the first few pages, then deciding if they like the style enough to read the whole thing.

But the first five pages are also of enormous importance when a writer is trying to sell a manuscript. Continue reading

Parenting in the Harry Potter Era

Once upon a time, in a land far away, I was the mother of a 9-year-old when the first Harry Potter movie came out.

I was at a soccer banquet the night before it premiered, helping pass out some end-of-the-year soccer cake, making chit-chat with one of the fathers next to me, and I asked if he was going to take his little soccer star to the new Harry Potter movie.

“Oh, no!” he said, looking at me like I’d suddenly grown horns. “We’re Christian.”

I think I stood there, my mouth agape, for at least a minute. I’m pretty sure the cake slid to the floor. Aside from feeling like I’d been accused of raising devil children, I couldn’t quite think of how to respond. …

It was the first time I was ever met, head-on, with the issue of banning books. And it was the first time I was ever faced with a person who thought I was making a horribly wrong choice for my child.

To read the rest of the story, fling yourself over to the Popculturedivas blog. And I’d love to hear your comments about how you parent (and choose books) in the Harry Potter and Twilight era. …

At Popculture Divas Today: All About TV Families

Hi, all! I’m over at Popculture Divas today, blogging about TV families.

Duggars? Gosselins? Do you watch any of the new crop of reality families?

Or are you a little old school like me, and pining after the fake families like the Partridges and the Brady Bunch? (“Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!”)

Come read my current take on why the switch over the decades, and weigh in with your own opinion in the comments over there.

(I also mention why I now have my eye on Modern Family. Do you watch that show? Hilarious. …)

Speaking of Surfer Dudes …

Speaking of surfer dudes, I finally got a chance to work on a manuscript I’d set aside about a young surfer named Fin Hensen.

And it felt amazing to be writing again.

The whole weekend, in fact, was made up of early mornings; liters upon liters of Diet Coke; and hours and hours of writing dialogue, setting and character.

The only time I even diverted my attention was to tap in with my awesome critique partner, Patti, and to write a post for Popculturedivas about Big Love and the law-breaking “anti-setting” that we all know and love.

I just love writing — and January and February are months where I can throw myself in wholeheartedly.

How about you? Did you get to do something you love this weekend?

Krispy Kremes, Messy Sandwiches and Sugar Sticks …

Hi, all! I’m blogging over at popculturedivas today! Come visit me and stop by for a chat … Grab a cup of coffee and settle in. …

I’m chatting about food in fiction today. Remember Jenny Crusie’s Krispy Kreme scene in “Bet Me”? (Debi, didn’t you mention that one?!?!) Or do you know of Edward X’s messy sandwiches in Lawrence Sanders’ detective series? Or what about some of those interesting meals they eat in the Medieval romances (like the oranges and almonds and “sugar sticks” that Melanthe ate for lunch in “For My Lady’s Heart”), or in the historical Regencies?

Come share the most memorable food you remember in fiction! … The link is here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...