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.
Thanks so much for contributing this post, Laura! It’s fascinating to see how one paragraph can make the difference between rejection and acceptance.
Thank you for this opportunity, Bonnie. Anyone else have similar experiences where one paragraph can make all the difference? Would love to hear from you.