Everything she said was brilliant and simple. And the best part is...I already knew everything she recommended. I'm one step closer to not being a beginner. ;)
Light bulb moment: Stop researching some of this stuff and just WRITE!
I know everyone is out there polishing up their contest entries, right? I'm doing the same thing -- and running out of time! As always!
But during this particular webinar, Sarah pointed out a few key things to have in your first chapters (the chapters a content judge will read) to get your reader hooked. Some of this might be "duh" to you prolific writers but little ole me was scribbling mighty fast as she listed them off.
- The earlier you can reveal a conflict the better
- Get the reader to care immediately
- Raise curiosity and beg questions of the reader
- Make readers feel invested immediately
- Avoid long descriptions of setting and overly long internal dialogue
- Begin in the middle of the action
- Zoom in on the Protagonist ASAP
- Pay attention to pacing - readers want to make progress
- Provide insight into character motivations
And there were many more. I love lists like this. Mainly because I'm a checklist girl. I like crossing things off. So this is right up my alley.
What do you think? Are these suggestions spot on? Any you disagree with? Any others you would add? What is the hardest for you to work into your opening chapters?
Good luck to all you contest-entering crazies!