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[twenty twenty-four day one five two]: con carolinas first day after-action report

centaur 0

This is the day after day one five two, but, whatevz, I had to deal with a minor emergency yesterday, so you have to deal with a late post. Regardless, I was at Con Carolinas, at the “Hooked” panel, which went well, and if there’s anything I could take away from that panel, it would be the following:

  • Your hook for your story isn’t just your first line, but it encompasses everything from your genre, your prior output as a writer, the cover, the title, the subtitle or blurb, the first line, the first paragraph, the first page, the first chapter.
  • All of those can attract your reader’s attention; to engage their interest, you need to raise a story question which needs answering. This can be the surface problem, the deeper story-worthy question, an exciting incident, the voice of the main character, an intriguing setup, or a mystery … that makes people want more.
  • Most of the panelists felt that you should leave out of your hook any excess description or backstory that does not help build that story question. Those issues can be raised later, once the story is moving; only when your readers are desperate to have questions answered should you spend time answering them.

I’m sure I could say more, but I’m not, because I have a leak in a roof to deal with. BUT, since I am not going to be able to post new images for a bit, I’m going to change my strategy for my “Blogging Every Day” posts with a little Livejournal-style annotation! Lo:

Today’s event? Con Carolinas, where I saw a lot of old friends and was on the “Hooked” panel. Today’s exercise? Just thirty pushups and a relatively brief walk. Today’s drawing? More Goldman studies: by my count, I am up to day one five three, which means I’m caught up (as this blogpost is one day behind).

That’s it! Here’s hoping I have enough bits left to post.

-the Centaur

Pictured: From the archives, the red editor’s pen, over a redacted manuscript. Full disclosure: my normal editing pen is blue, as I am partially colorblind – while I can see red, it doesn’t stand out for me the way blue does. There is no such thing for me as “fire engine red” unless I’m wearing Enchroma glasses (which do not give you true color vision, by the way, but they certainly can make certain colors stand out more). I was probably using the red pen in this case either because the blue one blew up, or I need two kinds of notes.

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