Wednesday, December 06, 2006

First Impressions

"Truth is, I gave my heart away along time ago, my whole heart, and I never really got it back."
~from the movie, "Sweet Home Alabama"

Gosh, I like this movie a lot too. Who isn’t completely charmed by Reese Witherspoon, anyway? (Oh…maybe Ryan Philippe…but that’s his loss)

Found an interesting writing exercise as I was blog-hopping yesterday: Julie Cohen’s first-page challenge. Try it and see how well your opening paragraphs hold up…

It was a good kick in the butt for me to look back through some of my own. I despise writing opening scenes anyway, find them incredibly difficult but of course they’re OH SO IMPORTANT in hooking the reader (who just might be your *fingers-crossed* editor or agent someday).

Yeah, I know. First impressions are everything, so no matter how challenging, we writers have to figure out how to create good ones.

But I also realized from doing this exercise that it’s really hard to write an opening scene well unless you know how your story’s going to end: how the characters all change and what is essential to reveal at the start (and what is best kept hidden).

Try it!

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