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 Homeward Dove

Janice Law

Before the internet, my sportswriter husband regularly followed British soccer with an overseas subscription to The Daily Telegraph from London. There was a bonus for me in this expensive dedication: The Telegraph had extensive crime coverage. One story, about a murder witnessed only by a speechless infant, captured my imagination. It went into my notebook, but it was years before the principals in the little drama emerged, beginning with Jeff Woodbine, who begins his story about bad choices with a little meditation on his grandmother, based on a relative who had fought the good fight against dementia.

Read More…

Read comments or add your own

Shadow Notes: The First Two Pages

Laurel Peterson

One of my favorite writing prompts came from a graduate course I took at Manhattanville College with writer Elizabeth Eslami. Liz told us to start with the phrase All s/he [or I] wanted was… and then write. Is the desire big—like James Bond’s desire to save the world from takeover by Spectre? Is it more personal, like the desired to be loved or to gain self-confidence? How does this desire manifest itself in action? I tell my fiction students to start there, in the middle of a desire—and to think about some reasons why the desire may be thwarted. Save the back story for later, I say. Keep the stakes high and raise questions. Those are the things I tried to do as I opened my novel Shadow Notes.

Read More…

Read comments or add your own

The First Two Pages of Dating Death

Randy Rawls

Hello. I am Randy Rawls, and I’m an author of eleven published books in three series, plus one historical. The series are all contemporary settings featuring a Private Investigator, two in South Florida and one in Texas. The historical takes place in 19551956 in northeastern North Carolina. My latest book is DATING DEATH, book three in my Beth Bowman, a South Florida PI, series.

Read More…

Read comments or add your own