Friday, May 20, 2011

An Analysis of First Pages

My CP, STINA, and I had an interesting email conversation a few weeks back about what makes a compelling opening.

She wrote a whole post about it HERE!

In a nutshell, she studied the first two paragraphs of 38 YA contemporary novels, 15 YA paranormal novels, and 16 winning YA entries from past MSFV Secret agent contests (did I mention she loves research?).

Based on the results, she came to this conclusion:

The first two paragraphs that made her want to read more involved a combination of introspection and action.

She added," When I say action, I’m talking maybe a sentence or two just to break up the introspection, and it wasn’t big action. And, of course, the introspection wasn’t rambling or long. It got to the point within the first paragraph and was loaded with voice."

Whoa. Hold the phone.

So I looked at all of my opening paragraphs and lo and behold: I had some INTROSPECTION. Which is not surprising--I am a little heavy on it sometimes.

SO it got me thinking.

(yes, really, RPatz) :D

Why don't we analyze openings here, on this blog? Say, the first 50-75 words of manuscripts. If you want yours analyzed (anonymously), send it to me! I know Stina will pipe in too. Did I tell you how hard she rocks?

Let's discuss!



Gina Ciocca said...

Thank God Stina lets us copy her homework. I'd totally love an analysis. If I can get my act together and get ready for work, I'll send it this morning!

Matthew MacNish said...

Hmm. Interesting.

Mine is too well known, I think, to be considered anonymous, but I may play along anyway.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Awesome idea of studying openings. I've done something similar, but never just with the openings. Hmmm...

Unknown said...

Wow how exciting!!!! I'm working on a new novel but once I get a great beginning I see no problem in shooting it over to have people look at it!

Christina Lee said...

Gina, I know, right? Stina is AWESOME! Matt, I guess I don't know your opening (just your query)!

Stina said...

I love this idea, Christina!!!! And I only know Matt's query. I've never seen his first 50-75 words. (So you can't get out of this Matt!)

Cheyanne said...

Very interesting! I would love to have my opening analyzed... As soon as I post this comment I'm going to go hunt your your email address :)

Also, I like the word introspection. I guess I've always known that word exists, but lately I've been calling it "talking to yourself" lol

Lourie said... about incentive to get a person writing. :D

Christina Lee said...

Wow lots of people emailing me their words--keep it coming!