Author: Les Edgerton
Genre: Non-Fiction, Writing
Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books
Rating: 5 bats
Heat Level: n/a
Besides loving Les Edgerton’s style and voice in general – the information in this book is a must have for anyone and everyone in the realm of fiction writing.
An unfortunate but true fact is that most editors and agents won’t read past the first page – or five if they’re feeling generous – if the story hasn’t hooked them. There’s exceptions to this, obviously, but best not count on hitting that rare editor/agent that’ll read past that without a darn good reason to. Gone are the days where writers could leisurely set the scene and go over a character’s history (and good thing too I say! How dull!).
Les takes the art of writing stellar, gripping beginnings and breaks them down – complete with examples. He’s easy to understand and his advice is, as usual, spot on.
1. Story Structure and the Scene
2. Opening Scenes: An Overview
3. The Inciting Incident, the Initial Surface Problem, and the Story-Worthy Problem
4. The Setup and Backstory
5. Combining the Inciting Incident, Story-Worthy Problem, Initial Surface Problem, Setup, and Backstory
6. Introducing Your Characters
7. Foreshadowing, Language, and Setting
8. Great Opening Lines
9. Red Flag Openers to Avoid
10. Opening Scene Length and the Use of Transitions
11. The View From the Agent’s and Editor’s Chair
This is a book I plan on keeping and re-reading each year to keep his advice engrained!