Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First page rewrite—100th attempt.

Ok it’s not my 100th attempt, but it feels like it.

Please give it a read and tell me what you think.

The readers who have read my other “first page “attempts plz add if you think this is going in the right direction.

I have put a ton of thought on your last suggestion, on how to make my first page stronger. Hopefully it hits the mark!!!



  1. Capitalize Father in the quote. Change crisp referring to autumn air - it is overused. What happens if you take out emperors camp? Can you make us wonder where he will be going? This seems like a good place to make reader want more. I would personally take out the word abuse. We can guess that might be what it is, but building a little dread hear without spelling out what dad does might help.

    I would not use "slightly better". His emotions in the prelude to killing his dad would be pretty important to me understanding Tristan.

    You might dislike weeding after work, but to work on a first page is weeding enough. Keep going.

  2. It would be easier for me to do track changes on this. It's a good start, Jeff! Feel free to contact me and send the page if you would like my 2 cents:) That first page is such a bugger. I think I really did rewrite mine 100 times!It's maddening, but don't give up!

  3. It definitely draws you onward at the end, which is a really important (and difficult) thing to achieve in one page!

    I was actually confused though--with the whole "yesterday it seemed like a good idea" combined with the tear (implying remorse to me), I thought he had already killed his father. So I was confused when I realized later that he was only planning to do so.

    The language of the tear running down his cheek sounds like gentle, quiet melancholy rather than the turmoil of fear and anger and pain he must be feeling. Maybe show that a little more clearly?

  4. Awesome advice so far... I can't thank you enough!!

  5. Jeff, I really like this version. It's much smoother and draws me in. The one thing I wonder about though is that if he's leaving tomorrow, why would he bother to kill (or want to kill) his father. I'm thinking I'd have to read more to find out!

    Great job.

    P.S. I have 2 awards for you on my blog.

  6. I don't think you can get it much better.

  7. Haha! I SO know what you mean about the first page re-writes... the beginning of the book is without a doubt the most difficult, and I think we've all done our fair share of hashing out the first page only a million times ( :

    Having started a new WIP recently, I've been thinking a lot about first lines. My only suggestion to you here, is to use a catchier first line. Might I suggest:

    "Tristan twisted the dagger in his hand. Killing his father sounded good yesterday."

    Something like that, then continue on from there. I would take out the Tristan sitting and the bed creaking part, or at least don't use it as your opener. The dagger twisting and killing father part is much more engaging and will catch your reader immediately... a bit faster than your current first line.

    Good luck! Sounds like an intriguing piece of fiction!!

    P.s. New follower alert ( ;

  8. Absolutely wonderful! Keep it coming!! :)

  9. Aren't first page re-writes the worst? I feel your pain.

    The others have already made some insightful points, so I'll just lend my encouragement. Good luck! :)

  10. Came over here from Becky Taylor's blog.

    Oh, my heck. Creepy beginning but compelling, too. I also noticed a couple of tense shifts you should watch.

    I love Julie's suggestion on where to start.

  11. It looks like it's coming along nicely! It's amazing to watch something go through so many transformations to really reach its full potential.

    By the way, can I reach you by email to send you that promo code?

  12. I just tagged you in my post :)

  13. Just wanted to pop in and wish you a Happy 4th! Hope you have a great day, Jeff!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse