|Title||:||The Writer's Guide to Beginnings: How to Craft Story Openings That Impress Agents, Engage Editors, and Captivate Readers|
|Number of Pages||:||256 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Writer's Guide to Beginnings: How to Craft Story Openings That Impress Agents, Engage Editors, and Captivate Readers Reviews
Writing a book? Hard. Writing the beginning of a book? Rocket science! Strap on your spacesuit, because thanks to Munier’s nuanced, actionable breakdown of every possible aspect of a gripping opening, authors everywhere can now take their books to the stars.
Outstanding. A must-read for every aspiring and already-published novelist. A resource to return to with each new novel, remembering what it is that keeps agents, editors and, most importantly, readers who trust you with their time and money, reading past page one.
All writers know the importance of those first few pages (first few lines even) in attracting a literary agent's attention. This book gives specifics on how to write them and offers plenty of examples as illustration. I've read other books with a similar theme, but I found this one to be the most specific and useful. I can now look at my opening scene and see if all the elements are there. But though the book is focused on beginnings, there's valuable advice that pertains to the entire manuscript, from story structure to theme, from POV choice to dialogue. I recommend this book whether a writer plans to seek a traditional path or an independent one. Readers have lots of choices out there. This books help ensure they'll pick yours. (Review based on a paperback I won through a writers conference auction.)
Interestingly, this book was very useful to me. While reading it I revised one manuscript that is “finished”. (I’ll also use it to revise another one that I know isn’t ready.) Although a lot of the content isn’t necessarily new to me, something about how it was presented gave me ideas about how to attack that “finished” manuscript. For example, my antagonist probably appeared one dimensional and I probably had not connected the first chapter enough to the story’s big idea. Unfortunately, that manuscript may be a goner, as Paula writes on page 43: “In truth, it doesn’t matter how good your opening scene is if the idea on which your story is based is flawed, either in storytelling terms or marketing terms.” If it isn’t a goner, this revision of the beginning may be the one to free the story from its rusty cage...
Paula Munier shows authors how to set up their stories to captivate agents, publishers, and readers, and she does so with deft clarity and invaluable insights. This is her third book on writing and she once again shares her vast knowledge as a top literary agent about narrative structure, craft, and the current state of publishing. I will keep this with her other two guidebooks within arm's reach of my desk. Five stars!
The Writer's Guide to Beginnings is packed with tips and exercises that will help you sharpen that pivotal first scene in your novel. Unfortunately, it's also packed with so many quotes it becomes bogged down by them. It starts out innocently enough with solid beginning examples from popular novels. Terms like "narrative thrust", and "organizing principle" are words to keep in mind when you're working out that opening. Chapter 7 is the high point in which she details how to structure your beginning and ways to organize it. Then the quotes! Paula also tells us to edit, but she needed to edit a bit more before sending this in for publication. We get quotes everywhere; at the start of chapters, at the end of chapters, beginning of a topic, end of a topic, a topic entirely devoted to quotes. AHHH! The quotes should been sprinkled in rather than starting and beginning almost every section. I can hardly even remember any of them! It would have been a much smoother read with fewer voices from other authors and greater voice from the book's own author.One thing I really liked is how she equates opening a story to juggling -- to be a master at your craft, you don't just juggle one item, you juggle knives, torches, all kinds of things that are dangerous. That's how you become a great writer. And if you can juggle the many quotes in this book, you'll find a great read underneath.
The competition for a reader’s attention begins on page one. “If the beginning doesn’t work, the rest of the story doesn’t really matter,” writes Paula Munier, a literary agent, writer, editor, and writing teacher. There are many writing books out there, but this book stands out because Munier’s teaching skills shine through. Also, she offers first-hand observations about the publishing industry, and weaves them into the writing lessons she imparts. It’s “insider information” that won’t get you in hot water. Are you wondering why agents or editors rejected your first chapter? You’ll find an eye-opening answer on page 27. Can’t decide whether to start your book with a prologue? Check out page 192. If you finished writing the first 100 pages of your novel—congratulations! Now you need the checklist on page 240 to bulletproof your work. Get a copy of the book now!Read my full review on my blog: https://cindyfazzi.com/2016/11/18/pau...
Terrific advice for writers covering not just how to create a great opening chapter, but also idea generation, self-care, professionalism etc. An inspiring addition to any writer's book shelf.