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.

First Two Pages of “Legends of Brooklyn” in Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4

Triss Stein

In September and October, The First Two Pages features posts by some of the authors who contributed stories to Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4 (Level Best Books, September 2017), the fourth anthology of crime and mystery short stories by members of the New York/ Tri-State Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

With the original theme of this new anthology the inclusion of an iconic New York place or event, I had the perfect subject just a few miles from where I am writing this. That famous bridge has been saying Brooklyn all over the world for more than a century.  Further, the next book in my series will take place in Brooklyn Heights, the neighborhood where the bridge begins. I had already learned more odd and interesting facts than I would ever be able to use in one book.

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First Two Pages of “Death Will Finish Your Marathon” in Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4

Elizabeth Zelvin

In September and October, The First Two Pages features posts by some of the authors who contributed stories to Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4 (Level Best Books, September 2017), the fourth anthology of crime and mystery short stories by members of the New York/ Tri-State Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

In addition to contributing “Death Will Finish Your Marathon,” I served as editor of the anthology, so the the New York theme—“ the infinite variety of New Yorkers and the uniqueness of New Yorkishness,” as I put it in the volume’s introduction—was as important to me as my protagonist and his sidekicks or the crime itself. Part of my agenda for the first two pages was to make New York City live and breathe.

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The First Two Pages of “Make Me Beautiful”

by Karen Pullen

I work on my stories for a long time. This 3500-word story, “Make Me Beautiful”, was no exception. I wrote the first draft in 2006, for a contest that required a story around this prompt: She slapped him hard. I tried to think of an original reason for a woman to slap a man and came up with: a really bad haircut. That’s the pivotal event in this story: Duman, a hair stylist, butchers Payton’s hair.  

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