3/24 – On First Pages via Mary Kole

It’s Friday! Time for CRAFT FRIDAY. This means that in lieu of our traditional warm up, we read a short article together and talk about it. Here it is:

[and if that live link doesn’t work, You can access the pdf here]

Mini-Lesson: Today we’re going to have a mini-lesson on first pages (have to be logged into a school account to see that link), looking at what makes a first page really work–and what makes a first page fail. I’m borrowing most of the material from Writing Irresistible Kidlit by Mary Kole with a few nudges from Cheryl Klein’s The Magic Words.

Daily Experiment: I’d like to ask you to revisit the “first page scene” that you showed me yesterday. Now that we’ve talked about first pages, try revising it so that it meets the criteria we discussed today. For some of you, it will mean starting from scratch. Others of you may be able to focus on shifting some paragraphs or introducing some

Note: You can find exceptions to any rule. For example, Hunger Games starts with Katniss waking up. Nearly every Danielle Steele book starts with the weather. But my general advice–and this is borne of a LOT of experience with agents and editors over the last five years–is to rely on the accumulated wisdom of writers and teachers of writing when it comes to first pages. It’s the thing that is MOST likely to get your pages read. And that, ultimately, is your goal.

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