Saturday, February 6, 2010

First Page Wisdom From Richard Peck, Kathleen Duey, and Jen Rofe SCBWI Miami

Richard Peck talked about the importance of a great opening line. Consider this from his book THE TEACHER'S FUNERAL: "If your teacher has to die, August isn't a bad time of year for it." That line is definitely memorable and makes the reader ponder what's coming next. Mr. Peck said he goes to the bookstore about once a month and writes down the opening lines from books he admires.

Kathleen Duey spoke of the importance of the first page and said she frequently rewrites the first page about twenty times.

In the novel intensive workshop, Jen Rofe read my first page out loud. She said it needed a stronger opening line, it could be tightened, the character's voice could come through more strongly.

I took Richard Peck's advice. I copied down lots of great opening lines from other books. I took Kathleen Duey's advice. I rewrote my first page about twenty times. I literally spent a whole day just working on the first two pages. Here's my take away: Peck, Duey, and Rofe dropped pearls of wisdom. My opening is much stronger from following their advice.

Give these pearls of wisdom a try. I'd be interested in hearing if they work for you too.

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