Jeff Gerke, author of The First 50 Pages, shares free tips for writing a novel. The opening fifty pages carry a surprising amount of weight for beginning a novel correctly. You have to engage your reader, introduce your hero, and establish the context of the story. You’ll also be presenting the stakes, introducing the antagonist, establishing the hero’s desires, starting the main character’s inner journey, and getting a ticking time bomb to ticking down.
You want to do all these things without dumping backstory on your reader, misleading your reader, insulting your reader’s intelligence, or tipping your hand to your reader.
Your primary reader isn’t always the end user—your opening 50 pages will first be read by literary agents and acquisitions editors. In this free online event, Jeff shows you how to begin a novel with the skill and intentionality that keeps all those readers’ eyes glued to the page.
His free advice on writing includes:
- What most impresses an acquisitions editor or literary agent.
- How to maximize the odds of getting a positive response from publishers and agents.
- The main tasks that must happen in a novel’s first 50 pages.
- How to engage a reader.
- How to actually start a novel: opening methods, first lines and first pages, introducing your hero.
- How to begin the Hero’s Inner Journey.
- How to begin a Three Act Structure.
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About the Author
Jeff Gerke is the author of many works of fiction and nonfiction including such books as the Operation: Firebrand novels. He has worked as an editor for numerous publications and is the founder of Marcher Lord Press, an indie publishing company dedicated to producing the finest in Christian science-fiction, fantasy, and other genres. He is also the author of The First 50 Pages and Plot Versus Character, both from Writer’s Digest Books. He lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His personal website can be found at www.wherethemapends.com.