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Fireworks or sparklers?

Again, sorry for the absence. This writing business can be quite time consuming when you need to *ehem* actually write. :)

What have I been doing you ask? Querying, a bit. And getting rejected, a bit. And getting requests, a bit. Some fun, some not so fun, but all in all I'm enjoying this new phase of the game. I think my writing is a bit different and my style is a bit different, which I'm afraid means my querying=agent journey could take awhile. I'm okay with that fact. I am a fairly driven person so I'm not planning on giving up, BUT I do plan to eat a lot of chocolate along the way.

This querying business has made me wonder: do you prefer a fireworks, explosive-type opening or a mini sparkler, get-to-know-my world sort of opener?

I jump right in. Is this the correct way to go about it? I'm not sure, but originally I started with the 2nd option and my lovely critters said that sucked. I thanked them for the compliment and then revised...and revised again...and then again. My 1st chapter has been revised twenty or more times. How about you? Do you open with a bang or start slow? And what do you prefer when reading? Enlighten me. :)

M.B.

Comments

  1. Good luck on this new phase in your writing journey.

    For me, I tend to like fireworks. But not the kind where people get hurt, ha. I want to get right to point -- it's a delicate balance because you want to care about the character(s) as well.

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  2. I'm still "holy cow-ing" about the fact that you're querying and already out there! I'm a teensy bit jealous. :) Want to write the end of my book for me so I can be there too? ;)

    I think you're beginning is great! There's just enough um...backstory...in with the fireworks. I couldn't think of a firework-metaphor equivalent for backstory. I think that means it's bedtime. :)

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  3. Great question! This is the topic of discussion over on the 'Let the Words Flow' blog today too. They've used some interesting examples like Harry Potter and the Hunger Games to suggest that sparklers have just as much merit as fireworks...the posts there usually generate some interesting comments, so maybe reading them will shed more light for you!

    This is something that I struggle with too. I know the writing journey isn't just about getting published, but when that's what you aspire to, it's hard not to feel the pressure of nailing the first chapter. After all, that's likely what will hook an agent!

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  4. oops, I meant to also include the link for LTWF, in case anyone is interested!

    http://letthewordsflow.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/not-starting-with-the-action/

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  5. ohhh...I'm so happy to read that entry, Lo, because I've been freaking that my beginning is too slow.

    Well, I still think it's too slow, but now I'm reassured that I don't have to start my story with Sam drowning. Yay! :)

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  6. Karen -- exactly! I feel the opening chapter should hook the reader with emotion -- aka fireworks with a dose of sympathy for the MC.

    Laura -- That writer participated in one of the Secret Agent contests. I remember her entry. Its cool to see her agented now. I love seeing writers grow.

    Amanda -- Thanks re: my opening. It has been revised several times to what you you read (and again since you read it). :) I wouldn't like your story to begin with Sam drowning, but you'll see where I feel it should begin when I send you my notes. :)

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  7. ^ I mean where I feel the story begins for me when reading it. Does that make sense? Again, I'll email you. :O)

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