Tuesday, September 29

Posted by Laurel Garver on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 1 comment
My writing buddy Simon, who really got the ball rolling with our critique group, now has a blog. He's an insightful reader and emerging talent--I look forward to his contributions to the blogosphere.

His initial post on openings got me thinking about one of the most helpful writing books on my shelf: Les Edgerton's Hooked.

This book proved very helpful when I'd been spinning my wheels for months trying to craft an opening for a sequel novel and getting way too bogged down in back story. That alone made this worth the $15. Edgerton uses loads of examples from several genres, which made his advice far more applicable than many other books that advise writers rather generically how to get a story started. His observations about the changing literary landscape also seemed spot-on.

On the minus side, this book feels repetitive. The most helpful, unique advice resides in chapters two and three. The chapters that follow are largely just variation on the themes of these two chapters. I think it would have been helpful to include a chapter about specific genre conventions--what elements are essential for successfully starting up not only literary stories, but also SF, YA, historical, mystery, romance, etc. Readers' expectations for each are quite different, even if on a structural level stories should gear up in a similar manner.
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  1. Hey, Laurel. Thanks for the shout-out, and link. I'm blushing, over here...

    One thing I have noticed in reading other blogs is the prevalence of linking. It's the whole cross-promotion thing of the blogosphere. So if other writers are doing it, why can't we, right?

    Let's see where it all goes.