Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Genius of Repetition

I lurked on an excellent RWA University class last month. It was about contests and making your first 5,000 words stand out.

I still feel openings are the hardest part of writing, and the presenter offered some super advice that I've heard before, but resonated with me this time:

You must create empathy BEFORE introducing any negative flaws in your character, anything that will distance us from the reader.

There are five ways to create empathy: (Need to use AT LEAST two of these.)


  1. Totally agree the reader must empathise with the character. If you start with him/her in a negative way, you'll never pull back your readers. I'd also add curiosity to the list of starters i.e. making the reader curious about why he/she had said or done something right at the start of Chapter 1.

  2. Great list.

    And I agree about needing that likability factor before introducing negative things. It's like in a parent teacher conference when you bracket the difficult things you need to say in the middle, surrounded by a positive opening and closing!

  3. Interesting things to consider, Ana, thanks!