The First Two Pages

Every Tuesday, a mystery writer explains how he or she faced the challenges of those brutally difficult–and vitally important–first two pages.

The First Two Pages of The Flawed Dance

Laura Elvebak

To capture the readers on the first page, my goal was to introduce Erin Matthews by showing her as a sympathetic, but flawed character. My biggest obstacle was how to tell her backstory, which provides the motive for her actions, without telling all in one chunk at the beginning.

I started Erin’s story as she is beginning a new life in a world completely foreign to her after running from her past. She is alone, without money, and about to move in with a stranger. In the first two pages her character is partially revealed, as well as the characters and motives of the men who are aiding her escape. I also needed to show the era and place where her story is centered because the setting is as much of a character as the people.

Read More…

Read comments or add your own

Grabbers and Hookers

Linda Thorne

My debut novel, Just Another Termination, was released by Black Opal Books on August 29, 2015 as the first in a series of mysteries that tell the story of Judy Kenagy, the first human resources manager to turn sleuth or, at least, the first to admit it.

I knew I needed grabbers and hookers to reel readers in, and keep them going throughout the book, but I also knew how easy it was to lose them in the first two pages. I needed to identify the protagonist. At minimum, provide a hint to her motivation. Add a few fascinating characters, set the tone, establish timeframe and setting. So what did I do? Here’s the start of my book.

Read More…

Read comments or add your own

Hunted by the Past PSY-IV Teams #1

Jami Gray

I started my writing career weaving tales of magic and mayhem in the Urban Fantasy genre. Three books in on my UF series, I decided it was time to shake things up by tackling the first book in my Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, The PSY-IV Teams. HUNTED BY THE PAST came about because as a writer the best way for me to stretch my creative muscles is to try new things. These self-imposed challenges can range from telling the story from a difficult point of view, creating a unique or unusual setting, switching up my genre, or adding twists even I couldn’t predict.

Read More…

Read comments or add your own