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Importance of First Pages

Our group blog has an interesting theme this week, thanks to Skye Taylor. Has so much emphasis been placed by readers and writers groups, publishers, reviewers, etc. on authors to have a spectacular opening page/chapter that the rest of the story gets left behind? What are your thoughts and experiences with this?

Our group blog has an interesting theme this week, thanks to Skye Taylor. Has so much emphasis been placed by readers and writers groups, publishers, reviewers, etc. on authors to have a spectacular opening page/chapter that the rest of the story gets left behind? What are your thoughts and experiences with this?

I don’t pay much attention to what publishers, reviewers, etc. have to say but I know I am drawn in by the opening pages. Readers expect this also. I judge a lot of contest and just finish one. If I hadn’t been judging i would have closed the book after three or four pages. It was all descriptive and very boring. And it continued through the first third of the book.

However, once I’ve grabbed a reader’s interest in the first few pages, I need to continue the story in the same vein so they are not disappointed.

The book I’m now writing, I’ve rewritten the first few pages because I didn’t think the previous ones would grab the reader.

Dark clouds hovered over New Orleans. Thunder rolled through the skies. Rain pelted down on the streets of the French Quarter. The drops bounced off the pavement behind Perrine Dupré. Wind whipped her umbrella inside out. Rain clouded her eyes. She stumbled up the three steps to her front door. Juggling her parcels, umbrella and the key Perrine jabbed it in the direction of the lock. Finally the key found the opening and turned.

Her daughter was finally coming home for a visit. Excitement bubbled up and a smile sneaked out.

Julie Ann had been building her interior design business in New York for the last couple of years. Perrine was proud of her daughter and understood Julie Ann couldn’t visit, but she’d missed her. She could have gone to New York, but Perrine loved New Orleans and hated to travel. Tomorrow she’d finally be able to hug her daughter again.
Thunder rumbled across the sky.

Perrine turned the door knob. She paused.

A vision flashed in front of her. Her shoulders sagged. She wasn’t going to see Julie Ann after all. And she'd miss their regular telephone call tonight, too.

A single tear shimmered down her cheek.
Thunder continued to rumble across the sky.

She had no choice. If she ran away they would follow her and shoot her down in the street. She could put her friends and neighbors in danger. They could get hurt.

Even if she did manage to escape tonight, they would kill her eventually.

The people involved were too powerful. They didn’t care about collateral damage or anyone else who might get hurt.

The information she’d counted on to protect her and Julie Ann obviously wasn't going to protect her any longer. Had they killed off all the other people involved? Was that way the documentation wasn’t important anymore?

There was so much she should have shared with Julie Ann. At least she would be aware of the threat.
Perrine pushed the door open. An icy cold shroud of death drop over her.
Thunder crashed. The skies opened wide and lightning flashed across the sky, turning it an electric white.
At the same time a light slashed across the room.

I’m interested in what the other writers in the group have to say on first pages.

Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Dr. Bob Rich http://wp.me/p3Xihq-YV
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com