23 October 2007

The First Page

Over the last few days, I've been through a pile of stories in our Electric Spec in-box. Sadly, I did not hold any of those stories for voting. Why? Many of the stories didn't grab my attention by the first page. Even if the quality of the writing is good, I need more. Before you submit a story, check to see if you've managed to fit in the following into the first page of your story:
  • Introduce an interesting protagonist
  • Identify, or strongly hint at, the conflict (both internal and external is ideal)
  • Establish a setting (including world-building if that's important to your story)

Is it a hard-and-fast rule that all of this must be on the first page? No, but many of the best stories I read do just that.

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