Friday, December 11, 2009

A big mistake in story beginnings

Jane Friedman at Writer's Digest has a helpful post:

I've read countless manuscripts that begin by describing a character writhing in pain. Mental pain, physical pain, emotional pain, you name it.

For instance:
John clenched his throat and tried to stop the flow of blood, but he couldn't. His skin became whiter and whiter, and he broke out into a cold sweat. He felt prickles all up and down his back, and his breathing became intensely labored. He squinted into the sun and wondered if this was finally going to be it.

[Two paragraphs later, after more pain description]

He felt certain he was going to die after getting trampled by a bull moose. He thought about his life as a whole, and was actually pleased at the thought he'd never have to suffer married life again.
Read how to fix it on her blog.

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