Heroes Shouldn’t Look In The Mirror Unless They’re An Evil Queen
How To Hook Your Readers In The First Page Of Your Book
By Julie Butcher-Fedynich
Over the course of many years, I’ve read thousands of manuscripts. There’s a curious symmetry writers have in their first few books. Either they wake up, they dream, they look in a freaking mirror and describe their luxurious, wavy hair, or they tell us everything that happened in their life up to this point.
For some reason, newer writers think that we, the reader, must know what the main character looks like in the first few paragraphs. Immediately, they give us a driver’s license version; height, weight, hair and eye color. I don’t know about you guys, but I seriously don’t like someone in love with their own hair. Writers, this isn’t bad information to have. You need to know if your character has white hair that shines in the moonlight and will give away his position to the enemy. We don’t, at least not until the bullet parts his curly locks.
What we need to know in the first few paragraphs are the same things that your teachers insisted you have in science papers and book reports, the four W’s: Who-Where-When-Why. The entire book is the How but it doesn’t hurt to give a hint of that at the beginning either.
There have been all kinds of gangsters and mob bosses who have appeared in pop-culture over the years, but I don’t think anyone has bothered to compare and contrast “Gentleman” Johnny Marcone and HBO’s Tony Soprano.
In Jim Butcher’s series, “The Dresden Files,” there is a recurring character who is a mob boss in the city of Chicago. In the short story “Even Hand,” which takes place between “Turn Coat” and “Changes,” the narrator begins the story saying, “My name is something I rarely trouble to remember, but for most of my adult life, I have been called John Marcone.” The newspapers have dubbed him with the nickname “Gentleman” because no matter the situation, he is always calm, collected, and polite.
Apart from being a powerful criminal element in the city of Chicago, Marcone has also gathered a great deal of information about the supernatural. He personally met with Dresden to see if he was “the real deal” and after exchanging a soul gaze, never doubted Harry’s magical capabilities or commitment again. Marcone has even called upon and tried to hire the private detective to combat the supernatural forces reducing his profit margin or causing undo attention to be turned in the direction of his criminal enterprise. As the novels go on, Marcone becomes more and more entrenched in the magical realm, utilizing this knowledgeable asset to his best advantage.
I recently walked into a healthcare provider’s office and backed right out, eyes wide and heart pounding.
“Don’t blink,” my ever-helpful husband offered, chuckling.
There before me on the wall was a whole murder of ceramic cherubs, painted in blood red and staring back at me.
Dinosaurs, Zombies, and Trekkies, Oh My!
by Julie Butcher-Fedynich
Spring has sprung, and we’ve survived the evil that is Daylight Savings Time—barely in my case. Since we’ve been tortured by all the horrors of winter this year, we need to celebrate in a truly geektastic way. We need awesome. We deserve splendid.
March came in like a lion in theaters with Jack the Giant Slayer and Oz the Great and Powerful,. The book world kicked up the awesome another notch with James Marsters narration of The Rift Walker, the second book of The Vampire Empire by Clay and Sue Griffith. If you haven’t had the joy of hearing The Greyfriar, (also narrated by James Marsters) you should probably go and procure it immediately! Did I mention that they’re read by James Marsters? I could listen to his voice forever.
Game of Thrones Direwolf Bookends
No surprise I collect books. And I have too many, but I am fairly organized. Bookends help, but on my shelves, they’re not just something to keep the books from falling over on the rocks or the collectible action figures—the bookends represent memories of places I’ve been.
I have a pair of hatching eggs from Creatures and Crooks in Richmond, VA, a set of black cats from Book People in Austin, and some Golden Gate Bridge bookends as a reminder of our trip to San Francisco.
No, I haven’t been to Winterfell, but Game of Thrones is one series that’s traveled with me everywhere I’ve lived. When Song of ice and Fire first came out, Nina Smith, the proprietress of Book Rack, my favorite independent bookstore in Oklahoma City, recommended the book to me. I was solidly hooked. The scene where the Starks found the direwolf pups was one I read more than once.
Heroes Shouldn’t Look In The Mirror Unless They’re An Evil Queen How To Hook Your Readers In The Fi[...]