May 23rd, 2014 by writethebook
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Vermont Author Jennifer McMahon, whose new novel is The Winter People, published by Doubleday. I also spoke with Jennifer in 2011. That interview is available here.
Today's Write The Book Prompt was inspired by my conversation with Jennifer McMahon. You
may recall that during the interview, I asked about the way she used a short
list of spare details and events to draw the reader into the narrative. In that
opening, which is actually a journal entry, her narrator, Sara Harrison Shea,
quickly lists several people: Papa, Auntie, Jacob, and Constance. She mentions
a place called the Devil’s Hand, where Papa had forbidden his children to play.
Most chillingly, she mentions the first time she saw a sleeper--a person she
knows to be dead, who is up and walking around. For your writing prompt this
week, play with openings that draw in a reader. Look at the action of a story
or novel that you’ve been working on, and think about how you might list
intriguing characters and events without giving too much away and without
overwhelming a reader.
This might not be the right way to begin. But playing around
with these ideas might open up some new avenue of storytelling for you.
Good luck with this exercise and please listen next week for
Music credits: 1) “Dreaming 1″ - John Fink; 2) “Filter” - Dorset Greens (a Vermont band featuring several former South Burlington High School students, long since graduated).