Monday, November 5, 2012

2 Secrets of a Wonderful Novel Opening

It's All About the Opening

To keep our feedburner readers from having to slog through the twenty-odd First Five Pages Workshop posts every month (unless they want to), we're moving the First Five Pages Workshop to its own blog. We'll still post announcements here, but I would like to do that in conjunction with something fun.

First things first, though. The First Five Pages Workshop is now here:

I've reposted some of the top posts we've done here over the years on the subject of openings as pages over on that blog. Take a peek. I had a blast revisiting them!

First Five Pages November Workshop

The mentor this month is A.C. Gaughen, the author of the wonderful Robin Hood retelling, SCARLET. Please stop by, read the entries, comment if you'd like to comment, but as always, feel free to lurk, enjoy, and learn. I always love the opportunity to see what authors have to say about opening pages, since they've gone through the wringer with agents, editors, reviewers--the whole nine yards. Many of our mentors are also editors in their own rights, or--as is the case with A.C.--have been through masters programs that provide an additional layer of insight.

The workshops aren't just for writers though. We'd really love to get more readers involved, because ultimately, the reading experience isn't about craft as much as it is about alchemy. As readers, we don't care as much about why the magic works. We just want to know that it does. It's a balance. The craft makes the magic, most of the time. But then there's that little bit of something indefinable. Do you know what I mean?

Anyway. Eh, hem. Moving on.


Openings are fun.

We've had a wonderful response from authors to our WOW Wednesday invitations and to the Character Bucket List.  As a side effect though, we're booked up so far in advance that I'd like to open up another avenue for authors here on the blog, another way for readers to find great new releases and for authors to share the secrets of their success with writers and readers alike. What I'm thinking is that I'd like to get authors to share their favorite openings lines with us, as well as their favorite tips for creating a wonderful opening scene and the inspiration that led to the opening of one of their most recent novels.

What do you think? Hopefully, this will not only get us the secrets behind some proven success stories, but also give us some inspiration and craft tips to incorporate into our writing.

Meanwhile, what makes a good opening for you? What makes you sit up and take notice? Chances are, THAT'S what you should be writing.

Have a great week!



  1. No offense, but THANK YOU for moving the first 5 pages!!! I like reading them, but they do clutter up my blog feed. This way I can puruse them at my leisure.

    And I think sharing and discussing opening lines is a great idea!

    1. I am so glad to hear you say that! I just took a gamble -- I have to admit I didn't realize how many people were following us in feed burner or, I guess, reading in blog feeds. Hopefully, this will work much better for everyone and I don't have to post the repetitive "announcement" posts here as much either. Instead, hopefully, you'll get something fun instead. Win/Win. :D

      Can't wait to dig into those opening lines!


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