Friday, July 22, 2005

Writing. Weekend. Exercise.

I know a lot of you may be writers, with aspirations of having your novel published. Cool.

Found this cool article on the three Cs that you may want to have present in your commercial fiction's first few pages. Context. Character. Conflict. Short article, and many others expand on these concepts further.

Sounds somewhat similar to advice my literary agent gave me when he was first considering representing my novel, Down For Whatever, as well as the novel I'm working on now. Pay attention to the opening page(s). Make apparent what kind of story we're getting in the opening page(s): romance, thriller, mystery, etc... Make us want or see what the hero/heroine wants. Make us see what's complicating the want of the hero/heroine. Otherwise, why would a literary agent, let alone a general reader, go beyond those opening pages.

One book I like to suggest you buy or borrow from the library is The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman. Lukeman is a New York based agent who plows through thousands of manuscripts a year looking for that right fit.

Another book I like to recommend to writers with publication dreams, though this book isn't necessarily focused on opening pages, is Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons For Black Authors by Jewell Parker Rhodes. It's a great guide for writers looking to write culturally relevant and authentic voices in their fiction.

Anyway, just my two cents. Hope you get some work done on your writing goals this weekend.
fs

1 comment:

haze said...

I just read your post on MJ Roses's Backstory. I have the same feelings as you. Yes, the classic black writers were fed to me in school. I distinctly remember picking up Waiting to Exhale at the library. I was up until sunrise because I could not put it down. I *knew* these characters. I lived their experiences. And that was when I knew I could do it too. That I didn't have to populate my books with white characters just to get published. I'll be looking for your book!!