Reply To: Student: Ellen Gilman Homework Thread

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Ah-ha ….Remember: It’s not that your character isn’t allowed to think on your opening pages. It’s that when you replace action or masterful scene craft with the deep thoughts of a character we don’t really know yet, and whose conflict we’re not yet invested in, then you’re most likely dampening our enthusiasm to read on.
.Makes me re-visit starting the book with a prologue of Daisy meeting Edward five years earlier. Maybe I can fit in when they meet (at their interviews for the law job) in a conversation as they drive to Houndsville. going to try that!
another ah-ha Your opening pages might be in trouble if…

#2) Your novel opens with White Room Syndrome.

In other words, you may have succeeded at putting at least one character on the page, and maybe some sort of action, too, but you’ve forgotten to share any details about your setting.Anchor your reader in time and place in your manuscript’s opening pages—this is the number-one comment I make when I do critiques at conferences.

I  definitely have a tendency to  fall into this trap.   I don’t like reading books where there is too much setting (I tend to skip through it) so I have fallen into the trap of not having setting play an important part in my own writing. I also find “setting” difficult to write.  I want to fit the setting in with the dialogue but sometimes it seems stuck in and not weaved in properly. I looked back over my opening but can’t figure out how to add setting details.

  • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by ellen.gilman.

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