Note: The First Five Pages Workshop will be a regular feature on the blog at least for a while. We'll be accepting new entries the first Saturday of the month. First five entries only.
So we've had one round of edits on the first five pages we put up last week. We had very few suggestions on Entry #5, so that leaves us with four manuscripts to whip into shape. Are you game?
The rules are the same, folks. Be kind, courteous, and constructive. Our goal is to provide suggestions that the writer can carry forward. Don't bother with line editing until/unless the rest of the elements are all in place.
And a few more things to think about as you read these entries and consider your own work. One, where in real estate the key is location, location, location, in the world of children's lit, it appears the key is voice. Natalie Fischer did two fabulous blog posts this week, one on our blog and one on hers. I STRONGLY suggest you read them.
And here's some more about voice:
After voice or right up there with it, is conflict. Here's a worksheet on scene conflict. It may get you thinking in some additional directions:
Next, setting is critical and we need to do more than see it--we need to experience it in these first five pages. A good rule of thumb (or so the wisdom goes) for sensory detail is to make sure you put some in at least every three pages. That means there needs to be something juicy in each of these entries. Are we all set? If not, read Cam's post from Wednesday:
And some more about setting:
Finally to tie it all together, here's a checklist based on Noah Lukeman's excellent book The First Five Pages:
Are you ready to kill me yet? This writing gig is hard, right? That's okay. We love it.