Writing Wednesday: Newbie pitfalls: The opening

I’m going to write from experience. I’m not exactly a newbie anymore, but I’m also not what I would call “highly experienced.” I have learned a few things though.

New authors make mistakes, and it’s fine that we do! We’re learning! The skills take time to develop. No one wakes up and builds a skyscraper without training, nor do writers and artists just take up a pen and deliver epic works. I think it’s up to us to plant warning signs for those who come after us, let them know things that they can avoid so they’re not bogged down in the errors we got snarled in.

The intro:

When I released Escaping Paradise, I had exactly one person say that my intro needed work. Four years later, I read the books and I’m debating pulling them from the market until I can revise that opening. Wow. If you’ve read the books, I apologize.

What did I do wrong?

I started with a mundane scene. Alyssa is out for a run, she finds a job flier on her car, she returns home. It’s loaded with superfluous details and while it might make a decent intro sequence/montage for a movie, this is a book.

The second chapter had Alyssa getting ready for a job interview and going to the office to meet the recruiter. That’s where I should have started. Tighten up the lead in and get her to that interview where her life begins to change.

I think I’ll make this a series, mistakes I’ve made and what I’d do differently. Maybe my stubborn insistence that I could tell a story (and I could, but I goofed) will help someone else find a stronger debut.

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