At Last…

Etta James is playing in the radio in my head, triggered by the title I’m giving this blog. I think, I think, the scene that’s been giving me fits is on the right track. The thing I like best about it is that nothing’s settled by the end — it’s just an agreed-upon point of stasis between the two characters. I can see all kinds of complications rising out of what I have, and I hope the reader will, too. If I do this right, the big difference between my feeling of, “Stuff will happen because of this,” and the reader’s feeling of it, is that I know what happens as a result and the reader won’t. But she’ll want to…and she’ll keep turning the pages.


One of my favorite blogs is agent Nathan Bransford’s. I like his attitude and his style, the way he approaches his blog posts. He’s just a pleasure to read.

He’s also informative. Today, he had a great post on first paragraphs, one I recommend reading. When he talks about the first paragraph’s three functions, he puts into words something I’d understood but had never tried to articulate. In three brief clauses, he liststhe things I look for when I open a book, trying to decide whether or not to buy it (or borrow it, as the case may be). I just hadn’t named those things.

As a reader, it’s cool but not key that I now know what I’m looking for. As a writer, this information is essential.

Go read the whole post. It’s short, and it’s excellent.


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