That First Page

A commentator on this blog suggested Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel to help with revision on my new novel. As always, Amazon suggested another, Noah Lukeman’s The First Five Pages. I started with that one, because it didn’t come with a workbook, as Maass’ does.
Ha! The work comes at the end of each chapter, when he assigns exercises to be completed before venturing on to the next. First, remove all adjectives and adverbs, he says. Secondly, make a list of all the nouns and verbs, checking for the tired, or cliche. Then revise. Does he know how long that takes? Three hours on Sunday morning, and that was on the first page , which had all ready been revised countless times.
But it’s a much better first page now. Removing words from context showed me where I had duplications or commonplace words.
I long to drop this novel now, moving on to the revision of the one just written, which lies dormant in my computer, waiting for me to work on it’s first page. I won’t though, because this one is a sequel to my first published novel, and I want it to be the better book.
I’ve started Maass’ book as well, curious to discover if a breakout novel is something I can aspire to, and how to improve my writing to achieve it.
I started late at this craft of writing. I’m grateful to Donald Maass and Noah Lukeman, and others for helping me learn it.

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