Sunday, February 3, 2008


I've spent a huge number of hours reading openings, and critiquing some of them, at the now infamous Nathan Bransford's Surprisingly Essential First Page Challenge.  (The contest is closed to submissions and they're sorting through the entries now.)  I've read various rules and suggestions for how to open a novel, but I have to say at this point that reading about it and/or thinking about it is no substitute for reading about a gizillion openings and picking apart as many as you can stand to critique.  

Go forth and read the entries.  Find the flaws in the best ones.  May your eyes be opened.  And then read Shock and Awe.   Although we always hear that a novel should open with a hook, in the middle of it all, preferably with action, that doesn't mean that the action has to be physical.  Suddenly I'm okay with how Masks opens again.  Yay!


Carole said...

Winners are up! Well, everyone needs to vote in comments for the number 1 winner out of the few that were picked. I still like your entry best, though luc's comes in a close second.

Kami said...

Thanks, Carole! It was a really neat contest and I was very glad to be a part of it. Not to make light, but I would have been surprised (and thrilled, of course!) if I'd made the top six. That was a first draft opening. Maybe if I'd put more work into it? At the same time, it's so subjective, and there were so many great entries, I don't think I would have made the top six anyway. But I loved trying! And I feel I made a good try of it. I'm still really proud of that opening, as it is, no changes, no regrets.