Friday, June 03, 2011

Thought for the Day

If you want an agent to read the middle chapters of the book because "that's where things get exciting," you should probably consider editing the entire book to make it all exciting.

Jessica

23 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

LOL Great thought! :)

Amy Tripp said...

Ha! So true. I recently did an email critique for another writer. I basically told her that the first half of her short story wasn't needed. It gave us only two pieces of relevant information and was paragraphs long. I never heard back from her. Not even a 'thanks but I disagree.' :)

Andrea Mack said...

Love this! I don't have time to read (or write) books that aren't attention-grabbers.

Monica Mansfield said...

Ha!

Knowing where to start your book is so important. When does the action start? When does this story get going? That should be on the first page.

Anonymous said...

Well.

Anita Saxena said...

LOL. Too funny.

Loni said...

That's great. The beginning should definitely have excitement, you have to start building tension right away.

Joanne Sher said...

So simple. And we all know it - but do we listen?

THAT's the question.

Kristin Laughtin said...

It's so easy to start a story too early, and get attached to the idea that beginning is necessary because it gives information to the reader. It's often not really the case, and the information can be imparted elsewhere. It does get easier over time, though!

Haha, on my current WIP, an exciting scene happened earlier than I anticipated. I decided this wasn't a bad thing.

Laura W. said...

Too true. :)

I think that writers might get a bit confused about what "exciting" means, though. The beginning could still be good, but maybe they want you to read their intense action scene first. Or maybe they spent more time on the "exciting" parts because they were more fun to write. In which case they should polish the whole thing, not just the fun bits.

Jo Eberhardt said...

That's hilarious.
I can just see it on a book jacket:

"This book will have you on the edge of your seat - as long as you start with the middle chapters."

G said...

Indeed.

I've read too many books where the action begins at the middle, instead at the beginning.

Gilbert J. Avila said...

The late George C. Chesbro had an interesting gimmick when he wrote his "Mongo the Magnificent" detective novels. The opening chapter was actually chapter 3 or 4, at the heart of the action. Then the next chapters led up to just after the end of the first chapter. Open the book and you're already hooked!

tamarapaulin said...

Yes! As soon as a paper copy is in some reader's hot little hands, I suddenly know what pages I'm looking forward to them reading. It's hard to know until it's happening!

Reading work aloud in a workshop is illuminating. When something "gets good", all the fidgeting stops.

Michael Seese said...

That's why I always start my books at the beginning. That's where the real good stuff is.
Hey, it worked for "Memento."

Virginia Llorca said...

I'm not agreeing that every story has to be filled with action and excitement from the very beginning.
Chapter two: Xanax

Tabitha Maine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Seese said...

Let's try this again....

That's why I always start my books at the ENDing. That's where the real good stuff is. Hey, it worked for "Memento."

I am SO not a morning person.

Gilbert J. Avila said...

I wonder if that works if you're writing a trilogy and you write the last book first.

Susan S said...

Well, there goes my plan to whimper my way onto the not-quite-bestseller list with my novel, "A Series Of Almost Interesting Events."

SPCWrite said...

I can hook at the beginning but as a writer, I always have trouble with middle of the story.

Michael Seese said...

@ Gilbert:

Well, consider that the last three chapters of the Star Wars movies were written first. It sure makes it easier to work your way to the end if you know what that end looks like.

My $0.03.

Nicole said...

That made me snicker.