Friday, February 1, 2008

Lessons on Great Starts

UPDATE 1: Instead of the first sentence of the works in progress, I am going to ask for the first 8-10 sentences, as I think that will give us a better feel for the writing and the story. So far I have five writers interested in participating. If you'd like to participate as well, please leave a comment with your submission or with info on how to reach you. Thanks!

UPDATE 2: Nathan Bransford has picked the finalists for his First Pages Contest. Alas, my entry is not among them. But some truly amazing first pages are! Check them out and vote for your favorite here.

UPDATE 2(b) Nathan just posted the winner of the contest ... very much a deserving first page! And, he named his top 10, including mine! Yippee!

A two-part post here. First, I wanted direct any of you who are interested in writing novels to some fantabulous advice regarding first pages being doled out over on agent Nathan Bransford's blog (the advice begins about a third of the way down in that entry).

Nathan is in the midst of judging a first-pages contest in which he received a mind-numbing 620 or so entries (including mine ... you can go here and do a search for "lindabudz" if you're inclined to check out the first page of my current WIP). Warning: It might take a minute for that page to load. Did I mention he had 600+ entries?

Anyway, reading all those openings has led Nathan to a few revelations about what works and what doesn't. And if you scan through a handful of them, you'll probably see what he means. Interesting stuff.

Secondly, in a brouhaha too convoluted to discuss here, many entrants expressed a desire in Nathan's comments section for critiques from their fellow writers.

This gave me an idea, and so I've decided to institute a new edition of my "It's a Start" feature in which I will give my opinions on the first sentence (or so) of kid lit writers' works in progress. This will not replace the regular "It's a Start" feature but will be posted in addition to it on occasion. I've had some interest from a couple of writers and am hoping it will build on itself.

If you'd like your first sentence(s) included, please leave me a comment and I'll work out the logistics from there. Thanks!

3 comments:

theartgirl said...

Loved your potato kid entry. Mine is Soul Jar.

I finished reading through them this weekend and picked my top thirty or so. Be interesting if one of my picks wins.

Here's the first sentence of my WIP.

I’m not the daughter my mother had wished for as I grew in her womb all those years ago --- Lillith Marie was no trophy child.

Coll

theartgirl said...

After posting, I saw that the first word needs changing from I'm to I was.

Duh.

Coll

LindaBudz said...

Thanks, Coil! I see that Nathan has posted his finalists ... shockingly, I am not among them (hah!). It's been fun to enter, though. The six finalists are all pretty amazing. I will have to check out Soul Jar.

I am actually going to change my plans a little and give opinions on the first 8-10 sentences, as I think that will make it a little easier to get a feel for the writing and the story. So ... if you don't mind leaving a few more sentences of your piece, that would be great. (BTW, intriguing first sentence!).