Saturday, April 23, 2011

A very smart guy said

"For all of the "how-to write" blog posts and con sessions, the best place to learn the craft is by reading voraciously."

I believe that is true.

On the list of things to read is GALVESTON by Nic Pizzolatto.  The first 22 pages are a master class in how to start a novel.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! While many of the blogs I read have very useful information about publishing, I am so sick of people selling their webinars, seminars and books. I get it- people need to make some money- but boy do I hate feeling sold to.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the rec. I'll pick it up. What about terrific women's fiction beginnings? Any ideas anyone?

Trisha said...

Thanks for the recommendation! :) Openings are after all so important!

Kathryn Paterson said...

I love the opening of T. Greenwood's Nearer than the Sky for that, Rebecca, as well as Ronlyn Domingue's The Mercy of Thin Air. Others I can think of that begin well? Fannie Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes, Kim Edwards' The Memory Keeper's Daughter, and White Oleander, by Janet Fitch(is that considered women's?). I'm sure there are some good openings in some of Jodi Piccoult's books too, although I can't think of one in particular.

Will have to check out Galveston--thanks for this post.

ryan field said...

I also think it's important to read outside the genre in which you write once in a while. And to pay attention to the way different authors craft their novels. It's not just an art; it's a science too.

Lori said...

Picked this up on your recommendation and really liked the book. Thanks!

Michael Seese said...

OK, so I checked it out...literally from the library. Pizzolatto uses some good imagery. When the protagonist tries out a switchblade he has strapped to his wrist, he says, "that blade shot into my hand like a shard of cold lightning." And in those first 22 pages are two uses of foreshadowing. I like foreshadowing. I think it's a good literary device.

On the downside, the author seems to fall in love with his metaphors. Describing the lead's lung cancer, we hear it described as "snow flurries," "cotton fiber weaving through my chest," and "soap chips in your chest." And within the span of four paragraphs, we get "blood geysered," "the blood fountain," and an "arterial shower."

Still, there's a lot of action packed into those first 22 pages, and it certainly is compelling enough to make one want to keep reading. (And even though I'm a slow reader, since I'm almost 10% of the way through, I might actually be able to finish it. Unlike Stephen King!)

Just my $0.02.