Starting in the Middle of Trouble

Aren’t we told over and over to start our story in the middle of the action?

 Author, teacher and blogger Kristen Lamb has some great things to say about this:

Ah, but this is where we writers can get in trouble. I see writers beginning their novels with high-action gun battles, blowing up buildings, a heart-wrenching, gut-twisting scene in a hospital or at a funeral, all in an effort to “hook the reader” by “starting in the middle of the action.” Then when they get dinged/rejected by an agent or editor, they are confused.

But I started right in the action! What is more “in the action” than a high-speed chase through Monte Carlo as a bomb ticks down to the final seconds?

Read more at  What Star Wars “A New Hope” Can Teach Us About In Medias Res

Published in: on August 28, 2012 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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More on Finding Your Writing Voice

What is a writer’s “voice”? That is a question we all ask when we begin writing and maybe even after we’ve written for awhile.

In the words of Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogerty: “Voice is the distinct personality, style, or point of view of a piece of writing or any other creative work. Voice is what Simon Cowell is talking about when he tells “American Idol” contestants to make a song their own and not just do a note-for-note karaoke version. Many musicians have played “The Star-Spangled Banner,” for instance, but there’s a world of difference between the Boston Pops’ performance and Jimi Hendrix’s, even though the basic melody is the same.”

I want to also share a great interview with Les Edgerton on Kristen Lamb’s blog. Edgerton has a book out on the writer’s voice, FINDING YOUR VOICE: How to Put Personality in Your Writing.

He says there are at least three ways to tell if you have written in your true voice.

  1. Are the Word Choices, Sentence Usages, and Phrases Employed Yours?
  2. Sentence Structure: Do you talk and think in fragmented sentences? Then you should use these in your writing.
  3. Clarity: The trick to writing well? Write simply; write clearly. Eschew flowery language.

To read the full article, go to Kristen Lamb’s Blog.

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