The First Page






I'm about to start the third mystery novel in my Caprice De Luca home-stager series.  I've written over 80 novels.  So why is it that first page of a story is still daunting?

With each of my books, I have a road map (or these days a GPS) which is my synopsis.  I know the beginning, middle and end because I detail each scene before I start.  But the strength, power and emotion of a novel depends on the execution.  An idea is only as good as the words a writer uses to make it come to life.  So back to the first page.

Who's point of view will give the opening the most power?

What words will hook the reader?

Should I begin with dialogue or narration?

And in the back of my mind is the advice I learned long ago--always start "in medias res."  Start in the middle of the action.

What action?  Personal issue action?  Or shoot'em up action?

This is why the first page is always daunting.  Until--  I remind myself that words on a page or on the e-tablet are not set in stone.  I can change whatever I write.  I have the freedom to edit or delete and rewrite as often as I want.

Except, I try to be an efficient writer.  So...I think about the opening scene while I'm petting the cat.  I mull it over while I take a walk.  I think about the two mysteries that came before this one and how I started those.  Then I take a deep breath and I follow my gut.  Creative instincts are a gift and we all have them if we can tune into them.  I listen to the theme of a book, then I hear my characters speak and I see exactly what they are doing.

This is the joy of being a writer.  This is the excitement and challenge of beginning the first page of a new book.

I know my first line and the mystery will unravel from there.



©2013 Karen Rose Smith


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