Start Your Story Right: How to Hook an Agent with Your First Pages and Chapter One OnDemand Webinar
The first 30 pages of your book (let's be honest, even the first 3) are supremely important in terms of catching the attention of an agent and an editor. If you're serious about getting your book published, you have to be serious about making your work stand out in the slush pile. An agent won't wait until page 40 or chapter 3 for your story to get going. It has to be excellent from the first paragraph. So what does an engaging opening look like? And what are some of the common pitfalls and clichés to avoid in the opening scenes of your story? In this webinar, Sara will examine all that and more.
What you'll learn:
- Avoiding the dreaded datadump: The number one reason I stop reading a partial is datadump – avoid it like the plague! You can't start your novel or memoir with a boatload of information. The story must begin with tension, trouble or an interesting scene. Description and detail should leak out over time.
- Do I clearly understand what the book is about, and can I explain this concept to editors? How can the pitch, whether fiction or nonfiction, be clearer and streamlined?
- What superior writing and a unique beginning look like: Of webinar publishing is subjective – we all know this. But here are some tips for mastering these two "hot" skills. We will examine several successful openings to novels and memoirs.
- What agents and editors do want: What agents and editors look for in terms of pacing, characterization and plot … right from the start!
- Early clichés and problems: Does your story start with a dream? Does the main character look at themselves in the mirror in the first few pages? Does your crime novel begin with a PI waking up from a hangover? These are all overused techniques. What else is overused in genre writing, children's tales and storytelling? Sara will reveal lots more.
Instructor Sara Megibow has worked as a literary agent at the Nelson Literary Agency since 2006. Sara has successfully sold projects in a variety of genres and is doing very well at helping debut authors break in to the market. A few deals from 2010 include the debut novel SCORE by Miranda Kenneally to Sourcebooks Fire and debut contemporary romance EXPOSURE THERAPY by Roni Loren to Berkley/ Penguin.
Sara's clients, deals and personal notes are available at www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/SaraMegibow
Nelson Literary Agency is a member of: AAR, RWA, SFWA, SCBWI www.nelsonagency.com
Sara is on twitter as @SaraMegibow
What equipment do I need?
All you need is a computer. You will be able to view the slides and listen to the audio over the computer speakers.