Starting off the new year with writing on the brain, I attended the Writer2Writer workshop which is a great FREE service at the La Cañada Flintridge.  I am all about free this year as I am cash poor but intention-rich.

This workshop was conducted by agents Jill Corcoran of the Herman Agency and Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown.  This was a First Pages session.  If you have never been to a “first pages” before, I recommend going.  These are always quite entertaining and informative.  All of the first page submissions are anonymous and are read aloud by the agents and critiqued right there on the spot.

First pages are all about the impact the words have upon the gut.  The agents had an informative list of “NO’s” like:

– Using last names for the character is awkward

– Giving all the character’s “stats” on the first page

-Starting your book with a dream

The biggest do was give the reader CLUES as to what to concentrate on in your story.  Balance just enough facts and character study to bring the reader into the world of the story and inspire them to turn the page.

Thanks to Jill and Kelly for their time and insight, and I know they had to be exhausted by the end of it.   It is always good to hear work aloud and touch base with the first impressions of your work – it’s like getting a badly need haircut.

Feeling fresh now for the new year, and here’s to finding as many freebie writers function as I can…