Sunday, April 13, 2014

#SCBWI-WWA2014: Breakout session, Claudia Gabel

Claudia awaits her introduction.
Executive editor at Katherine Tegen Books, Claudia Gabel, talked about First Pages in Reverse. Claudia is not only an editor, but she's also an author (the In or Out series, Romeo and Juliet and Vampires, co-writer of Elusion).

(Dang, the talent is just dripping off the walls in here this weekend!)

In looking at what makes a good first page, we can examine our writing with multiple perspectives.

Comparing first pages, the first drafts versus the revised ones, it was apparent which was the more effective path for a writer to take. Claudia focused on the immediacy of a scene, the proximity of the reader to the character(s) experiencing the emotion in a moment, and the promise of forward momentum. The stakes are higher when the opening moment is fraught with tension, even danger. She showed us that the invitation to turn that first page and enter the realm of the novel was so much more clear to the reader when that initial moment works well.

Consider this when thinking about your own first pages: action vs inaction, character's voice vs description, forward vs stagnant.

Now get out there and make your own first pages sing! 

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