Category Archives: Openings

Read More Fiction (A New Year’s Resolution for Writers)

Are we too late for New Year’s resolutions? I hope not, because there’s one I urge every writer to make. Read more fiction. It should be easy for us, right? Here, we’re all story lovers. But I mentor a lot … Continue reading

Posted in Dialogue, Openings, Resident Writing Coach | 23 Comments

Finding the Sweet Starting Spot for Your Story

  I used to hate writing story openings. I could never find the right spot the first time around. Sometimes, I started too far into the current story, leaving readers scratching their heads and squinting as they tried to figure … Continue reading

Posted in Openings, Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Finding Your Way Into Your Story

I recently avoided a workshop assignment that should have been completed in no more than an hour because I couldn’t find a way into my story. This workshop generates significant, raw material for me. New characters and compelling stories emerge; … Continue reading

Posted in Openings, Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 27 Comments

Making your Character Shine From Page One

Happy Monday, everyone! Angela and I have been so focused lately on the launch of our setting thesaurus books, it feels like that’s all we’ve been doing for months. So we’re excited to get back to the normal Writers Helping … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Guest Post, Openings, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

What Killed it For Me #6: Action Too Early

It’s likely that we’ve all encountered these stories—the ones that open with an explosion, plague, car chase, alien abduction, fist fight, or other volatile scene involving a main character that we know virtually nothing about. I get why authors do … Continue reading

Posted in Openings, Uncategorized, What Killed it For Me | 30 Comments

What Killed It For Me #3: Too Much Going On

  And now, for the latest book I gave up on. This one was a fantasy and there were like five books in the series, so I figured it would  be good. And it WAS very promising. But it was … Continue reading

Posted in Openings, What Killed it For Me | 17 Comments

What Killed it for Me #2: Characters Who Aren’t Endearing

For my first post in this series, I focused on a common reason that readers might stop reading: Lack of a Clear Goal. If the main character doesn’t have a goal, or if it’s not revealed early on, readers don’t know … Continue reading

Posted in Openings, What Killed it For Me | 30 Comments

Good Heavens—Another Post about Opening Lines?

I know, I know. Opening Lines have kind of been discussed to the point of zzzz, but I was going through my backlog of SCBWI bulletins and came across an AWESOME article by Kim Tomsic with information on this topic that … Continue reading

Posted in Openings, Writing Craft | 12 Comments

Turning Story Opening Don’ts Into Do’s

Today I’m super happy to have author & friend Lisa Gail Green in for a visit. Lisa is the author of  The Binding Stone (The Djinn Series). She’s looking at problem story openings and offering ideas on how to make … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Openings, Uncategorized | 24 Comments

First Page Tips from the Pros

Last week, I outlined the notes on VOICE from the speakers at the SCBWI Florida summer conference. The other thing they spoke a lot about was… FIRST PAGES They spent a lot of time on first page critiques, reading each … Continue reading

Posted in Openings, Revision and Editing, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 60 Comments