Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

All 9 Story Openings to Avoid In One Handy Post

Status:

Feeling hopeful. “catching up” might actually be do-able in the next week.

Listening To:

Rat Pack crooning various songs!

All 9 Story Openings To Avoid in one handy post for easy linking. Happy Reading!
 
(Hint: if you are an NLA newsletter subscriber, you didn’t have to wait weeks for the final article. Just sayin.’ Head to the NLA home page and click on the “newsletter” button at the bottom of the page: http://nelsonagency.com )
 
Your opening pages might be in trouble if… Your novel opens with main character alone & thinking. Here’s why
 
Your opening pages might be in trouble if…#2) Your novel opens with White Room Syndrome (WRS). Here’s why.  
 
Your opening pages might be in trouble if…#3) Your novel opens with the “mindless task” or “everyday normal.” Here’s why.
 
Your opening pages might be in trouble if…#4) Your novel opens with lengthy passage of “talking heads” dialogue. Here’s why.
 
Your opening pages might be in trouble if…#5) Your novel opens with running or pulse-pounding action. Here’s why.
 
Your opening pages might be in trouble if…#6) Your novel opens with prose problems i.e. flowery or overly descriptive verbiage. Here’s why.
 
Your opening pages might be in trouble if…#7) Your novel opens w/pages of backstory/exposition instead of scene Here’s why.
 
Your opening pages might be in trouble if…#8) Your novel opens with bodily functions or the weather. Here’s why
 
Your opening pages might be in trouble if…#9) Your novel opens with pithy wit or wisdom. Here’s why.
 
And bonus openings to avoid might be coming soon. You’ve been warned. 
Creative Commons Photo Credit: Ted Eytan 

3 Responses

  1. Don Redfoot said:

    Your blog series was one of the most helpful succinct treatments of that tormenting task of opening a story. My sole consolation in reading the series was that I hadn’t made all nine mistakes. I have posted the link on the Facebook page of the Montana chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to share with my colleagues. Thanks so much!!!

    1. Mary Jane Cole said:

      Dear Ms. Nelson,
      I have been a reader of your Newsletters since their inception. I find all of your information invaluable to my writing career. I have no idea what I would do without your assistance. As a writer, I have no one to turn to for the honest truth except your company. Thank you,
      Sincerely,
      Mary Jane Cole
      Self published – “Gorko! Mississippi Mud and Moscow Madness”. Honorary Mention, The Great Southeast Book Award Contest 2015

  2. Michele Ziemke said:

    Great Article! Finding honest and positive advice is refreshing. As an art teacher, I appreciate the do and don’t approach without stifling creativity. After completing my first novel, the anxiety of writing the first page has been overwhelming. Thank you.

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