By: Sue Coletta
I’m taking a masters class through Writers Village and I thought I’d share with you the “secret formula” to your opening lines.
It’s called the Hologram test. What is the Hologram test? It’s a golden rule that the first 100 words of your novel be a hologram, a teasing but true sample of the wares to come.
So how can you make sure your story passes this all-important test and wins the hearts of readers?
Here are 3 simple ways:
1. Locate your story clearly in a genre. A story that is not easily defined in a genre is typically dismissed LitFic (Literary Fiction). Yes, LitFic is a genre all on its own. LitFic should enchant the reader by its power of language or delicacy of perception. But, if you write a novel that doesn’t fit into a specific genre than you better be a damn fine writer, because not only will you have a difficult time with agents and publishers but with readers, too. So flaunt your genre quickly in those opening lines.
2. Give a teasing glimpse of the plot conflicts in your book. If your story fails to quickly introduce conflict it’s either LitFic or a bad story. Conflict is the lifeblood of your story so start the stakes right out of the chute. Let two or more characters be in conflict immediately before readers turn to page two. Or, your protagonist in conflict with themselves, or external forces. Shake up the readers adrenaline! Get their blood pumping! Their eyes wide on the page before them! You can do this with narrative or dialogue. Sometimes dialogue is an easy way to kick-start the conflict, foreshadowing events to come. Put your indispensable statement in the first scene. An event, a revealing passage of characterization, dialogue, setting, or a provocative assertion by the narrator. Without it, your story doesn’t get going.
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Read the full article HERE!
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