That's why we're lucky as writers, because we get to practice and revise our firsts--well the pages at least. We can envision and re-envision them until they feel perfect. Then we can do it again. And again. And yet again. Lucky us.
But should we? Is it really that important?
I used to think that all the emphasis on first pages was bunk. How could an agent or editor really get a feel for the whole book in just 150 words? How could a reader? Doesn't the rest of the book need to be just a good? Yes, but after I had the opportunity to help judge several first page contests I changed my mind about beginnings.
First pages tell volumes.
They set tone, showcase ability, and promise story. They evoke emotion. At least they should. And they should reach out, grab you by the imagination, and refuse to let go.
They should captivate on some level.
Easy peasy, right?
It's like trying to nail jello to a tree--only more painful.
But it's worth it.
If you don't believe me, try it for yourself. Right now at Throwing Up Words they are having a first page contest, and you get to be a judge. There are a lot of first pages and a lot of revelations on how important first pages are. There are even pages that just might be written by some of the crew here at Scribblers Cove. I won't tell you who because all the entries were submitted under pen names, but you are free to guess. You can vote on your favorite six until Thursday, January 26, 2012. Vote by clicking on the Project Writeway Results link at the top right of the blog.
And have fun!