Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dear All You Novel Writers Out There,

Do not begin your novel by describing the weather. I don't know why so many of you seem to think that grandiose descriptions of seasonal environmental effects (new grass, falling leaves, snow, rain, etc.) make a compelling first line.

In case you haven't heard, the weather is boring. Although you may later have the opportunity to share your uniquely special wonderment at the beauty of nature, please save it for your saggy middle - I'm sure it needs some shoring up anyhow.

The first line of your novel should draw us into the story. It should set the tone, give us an idea of what's to come. Is your book about the weather? I didn't think so. When you start with something bland and irrelevant, the reader draws certain conclusions.

Thank you,
A Sad, Sad Reader of Unpublished Fiction.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hehe. Although of course you may notice the inclusion of said weather in one of my favorite quotes from Hemingway, who recently made an appearance on your pages: "All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was."