Dr Niamh's Plum Tree Creative Community

Who is on the plum tree?

Editor’s Corner: 101.27

I was discussing the importance of opening paragraphs to a book and how important they are with Shawn MacKenzie, and we decided to do a Plum Tree Books feature on them. Shawn kicks us off with a brilliant reminder and incitement to be as interesting as we can. I will be following up by posting openers from various writers in an on-going series. I hope that you will participate and submit your opening paragraphs, and I hope you will enjoy this series.

MacKENZIE's Dragon's Nest

Grand Openings: Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse.

“The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.”
…Blaise Pascal. Pensées

Scribe smallBefore you lies a blank page and all you can fill it with is dread! There is a reason for this, of course, beyond fear of failure or success or being exposed as the frauds we secretly suspect we are. A reason driven into us like slivers beneath our fingernails: capture your audience in the first line – first paragraph, at most – or all is lost.

And there is certainly truth in that. When we send our literary progeny out into the world, they land under the bleary eyes of overworked agents, editors, and publishers. If we do not grab their interest at the start, they will not bother slogging through the ensuing 300 pages, no matter how profound or beautifully written. That…

View original post 910 more words

Advertisements

About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamh.co.uk

3 comments on “Editor’s Corner: 101.27

  1. Shawn MacKENZIE
    September 24, 2013

    Thank you for the reblog, Niamh. I am very much looking forward to seeing people’s entrees. I’ll even be brave and share a couple of my own. 🙂

    Like

  2. thiskidreviewsbooks
    September 25, 2013

    Sounds like an interesting, and very informative post! 😀

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: