This is what Neil Landau, screenwriter who brought us such television and movie gems as Melrose Place, Doogie Howser, MD, and the Magnificent Seven, says in his book 101 Things I Learned in Film School (with Matthew Frederick). I won this nifty treasure in a contest run by the good writerly dudes at 3 GUYS 1 BOOk. I'm no screenwriter, but this book applies to novelists as well. So well I am going to innundate you with tips for the rest of the year in hopes you'll pick up your own copy HERE.
For movie makers, this means open with a strong image, one that suggests the film's main theme and prompt intrigue as to where the movie is headed. For storytellers, starting strong means engage the reader in action. So ditch all the stuff that drags -- Ditch backstory. Ditch dialogue. Ditch waking up on another rainy day or driving aimlessly to some numbfuck destination or telling us about all the purty scenery while driving to numbfuck.
The first page must introduce us to the protagonist, give us his peril, tell us his stakes and thus, his quest. Make the beginning full of trouble, and give the protag a dilemma from which his choice at this opening moment dogs him until the end. The front page is where to establish theme. But most of all, the front page sucks us in.
Of course, the beginning is always the toughest to write, one reason why I pretty much write it last.
June marks new beginnings, too. I want to start summer STRONG, and make leftbrainwrite part of my sea change. So I'm gonna switch it up a bit here, commit myself to a schedule of sorts:
>>Mondays: Open mic -- I'll write on whatever moves me
>>Tuesdays: A snippet from a book or reading that addresses the art, craft, and science of writing
>>Wednesdays: REVIEWS!!!!! INTERVIEWS!!!!! Books, chapbooks, and fav stories from small and indy presses by fabulous authors!!!!!
>>Thursdays: What's new in science of the mind
>>Fridays: An original story or poem from YT for your weekend reading pleasure