The First Two Pages: Murder in the Worst Degree

F. M. Meredith

The purpose of this blog is for me to analyze the first two pages of a previous book—and I chose an earlier book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series: Murder in the Worst Degree.

I chose it because it has one of my best first lines:   

Except for the dead body washed up on the sand, conditions were perfect for surfing.

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11 thoughts on “The First Two Pages: Murder in the Worst Degree

  1. Lynda Bulla

    I appreciate how difficult it is to get the hook right. I write children’s picture books and we don’t even have the luxury of 2 pages. We usually only have the 1st line. Our stories aren’t as descriptive, having a lot of the details illustrated, not written, but we experience the same intent, capture the reader and make them want to continue. thanks for sharing.

  2. Michael A. Black

    You’re right about that being a great first line, Marilyn. The way you broke down the two pages, explaining how and why you did things is a fabulous lesson for new and aspiring writers. Thanks for this unique glimpse into your writing process.

  3. Susan Tuttle

    What a great post, Marilyn. The opening of a story is the most important part of the story because it’s what either catches or loses the readers. I have an entire unit on story openings (Brilliant Beginnings) in volume 6 of my Writ It Right series, just so writers can hone that opening to the nth degree… and it seems you did it to the “best” degree in your “Worst Degree” murder story. Great opening line with enticing action and characters that follow. (Of course, Murder in the Worst Degree is one of my favorites!) Here’s the first line of a YA paranormal book I’m working on: “Relationships with dead people are entirely one-sided.” That one just tickles my funny bone… LOL

  4. Joseph B Haggerty Sr.

    As you said Marilyn the very beginning has to catch the reader’s interest and make them want more. It was a great setting and I could picture it in my mind as well as the two surfers.

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