I attended my first SCBWI Writers Conference this past weekend. I live in a small town, and chances like this don’t come around often. From what I was told, a local conference of this size is the first one to happen in many many years.
My goal for the conference was to learn as much as possible. It was a broad goal. I also had the chance to meet with an agent, pick her brain, and receive a critique for the first ten pages of my manuscript, Kissing Death.
The agent had suggested I change the opening scene, however, she also stated that since she hadn’t read my full manuscript, that her suggestion may not be the right one. At the time, I was awe-struck simply to be in a room, having a one-on-one with an agent. I immediately jumped on the band wagon, and thought, “I definitely need to change the opening chapter.”
Once I got home and my brain recuperated, I realized that there were other changes I could make to the opening scene without completely re-writing it. My opening chapter has been constructed over the past few months to include all the necessary detail for the rest of the book to work, and I couldn’t imagine re-writing it completely. But I was able to pinpoint certain sentences that raised the aforementioned advice.
Fixing the Problem
I ended up removing a few sentences, starting my book in a different part of the chapter, and bam, I think it did the trick. Today, I sent my book to three proofreaders. Once these proofreaders finish reading, then I’ll talk with them about the opening to see if what I changed ended up fixing the problem.
When Jennifer March Soloway spoke, she touched on the topic of opening lines. *By the way, Jennifer is amazing, and anyone that is a client of hers is truly lucky!* She said that the first line should:
As of right now, my opening for Kissing Death (working title) is:
My compulsion to find him made me slightly crazy.
Writing and Publishing A Book
If you haven’t guessed yet, I have decided to go the indie publishing route. I plan to post my process of writing and my marketing plan on my blog so that you can follow my journey. I hope to be your guinea pig, so that you can learn from my mistakes and successes. I’ve also started recording episodes for a future YouTube channel, but I want to get a few recordings under my belt before I move forward with the idea.
Plus, you can expect more postings about the conference and what I learned.
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