Friday, June 21, 2013

Write a Killer Thriller Opening

by Jodie Renner, editor, author, speaker
 
Here's the beginning of a blog post of mine that's up today on D.P. Lyle's blog, The Writer's Forensics Blog. For the rest of the article, click on the link below.

Write a Killer Thriller Opening
 
Your thriller is coming along really well. You’ve written a first draft or are well into it, and you’re starting to think of actually letting others read it. Way to go! Now it’s time to go back and revise your opening pages to make them as riveting and intriguing as they can be.

I can’t emphasize enough how critical your first pages are. They can literally make or break your sales for that book – and maybe future ones. Why? Because after glancing at the front and back cover, potential readers, agents, publishers, and buyers will read your opening page or two to decide whether or not to buy your book. Readers are less and less patient, and with all the excellent books out there, if they’re not intrigued by the first few pages, they’ll reject yours and go on to another.

As James N. Frey says, “A gripping opening is not simply a good thing for your story. It’s absolutely essential.”

So what are the essential ingredients of a gripping opening?
Your first page – in fact, your first paragraph – needs to immerse your readers in the story right away, engage them emotionally, and hook them in so they not only want to but need to continue.
For that to happen, several factors come into play.

~ Tell us whose story it is. First, readers want to know right away who’s the protagonist, the one they’ll be rooting for. Put is in the head of the main character in the first sentence, certainly the first paragraphs. Readers expect that the first person they meet is the one they’ll identify with and bond with, so start right out in the point of view of your lead character.

~ Situate us right away. And readers want to know immediately where and when that first scene is taking place, and what’s going on. So be sure you’ve answered the four W’s within the first few paragraphs: who, what, where, and when – and in an engaging way. Don’t confuse or annoy your readers right off the bat by making them wonder who’s the main person in the story, what’s going on at that moment, and where and when it’s happening.

~ But not in a happy scene. Introduce some tension and conflict right away. Your lead character wants or needs something and it’s not happening. She’s starting to get stressed because…

For the rest of the article, click on this link:

http://writersforensicsblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/guest-blogger-jodie-renner-write-a-killer-thriller-opening/


Jodie Renner, a freelance fiction editor specializing in thrillers and other fast-paced fiction, has published two books to date in her series, An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction: WRITING A KILLER THRILLER and STYLE THAT SIZZLES & PACING FOR POWER (Silver Medalist in the FAPA Book Awards, 2013). Both titles are available in e-book and paperback.

For more info, please visit Jodie’s author website or editor website, or find her on Facebook or Twitter.

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