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Thursday, March 4, 2010

These Shoes Draw Attention... (RE-POST)

...coming and going. The leopard print toe is odd enough, but the heel with the fish in it? Really? We all know that the first and last lines of our manuscripts (even of our chapters) are important. They should leave a lasting effect on the reader, and unlike these shoes, it should be a good one. In The Fire In Fiction, Donald Maass points out that the first and last lines of each and every scene are just as important. A good first line should create anticipation (tension) in the reader, and a good last line should not only close out the scene, but it should also leave the reader wondering what will happen next. I've tried to make the first and last lines of each chapter memorable (some attempts more successful than others), but what about every scene? This is another area I'm focusing on during my revisions. How much attention have you paid to the first and last lines of each and every scene?

4 comments:

Elana Johnson said...

Not enough, I don't think. I try really hard to leave my chapters in a tense spot, but every scene? Yeah, I'm with you. I need to work on that.

And those fish shoes are awesome!!! But wouldn't it get, like tossed around a lot? And what if it broke? The poor thing. :(

David F. Weisman said...

I pay a huge amount of attention to the beginning of the first scene, which begins my book. I have to pay attention to the beginnings of other scenes too, since my manuscript covers a lot of territory, and I have to alert the reader how far we've moved in time and space - and plot.

Glynis said...

I have tried, that is all I can say!
Mmm not sure about the shoes, poor fish!

lauraabest said...

First and last lines are important. We sometimes tend to forget, however.

Wow!I have to say those are the oddest looking shoes I've ever seen.