Put your very best writing on the first page of your manuscript, I was once told, and the rest will rise to the challenge. This is a good thing, because your very best writing belongs on every other page, as well.
In fact, today I want to convince you why your very best writing belongs everywhere.
Most writers consider it a necessary evil, so why spend more time on it than you have to? Here’s why: if you treat it as a precious piece of storytelling, you might sell your book. Or a movie option. Infuse your synopsis with voice and drama and character. Make the reader feel something. Such synopses are out there, writers, and yours may be competing with them.
Think of visitors to your site as browsers in your personal store. You wouldn’t want to leave punctuation and spelling errors lying around for them to stumble over, would you? Your customers are already hindered by having no beautifully designed book to pick up and flip through. Make your graphics and digital copy pop off the page to shake your reader’s hand in a way that says, “I am a competent, confident writer that you can trust for your entertainment needs.”
Blog posts have come a long way since those first steam-of-consciousness missives by “iamawriter” in the 1990s, when capitalization and correct spelling were optional. These days it couldn’t be more different. In 2014, while promoting my first novel, I was surprised at the hoops my publicist sent me through just to come up with original content for book bloggers. She vetted all posts and sent them back with comments like “you can write a stronger opening.” And I could.
This was my first stab at an opening for As I Turn the Pages in answer to the question, “How has dance impacted your life?”
I was an active child with an unquenchable thirst for rhythmic physical endeavor. When my nose wasn’t in a novel I was playing hopscotch and jump rope, skiing (snow and water), diving, taking gymnastics, and cheerleading. But nothing set me aflame like the dance class I discovered when I was sixteen.
I leapt into the world feet first and ready for action. When my nose wasn’t in a novel I was skipping across chalked patterns, diving from springboards, slicing hills with my skis, flipping over high jumps—then trying to do any or all of it on the balance beam. But nothing set me aflame like the dance class I discovered when I was sixteen.
Pro tip: Even if the point of your post is to interview another author, fashioning your questions so they elicit a story arc represents your own abilities as a novelist better than five random questions.
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