Mark Terry

Friday, November 10, 2006

Leading With Your Chin

November 10, 2006
If you pop on over to PJ Parrish's blog, she had a post about how her new editor requested that they (PJ Parrish is two sisters, Kelly and Kris) re-do the lead of their upcoming novel a bit to "get out of the gate faster."

This led to a discussion of what we expect about leads and PJ decided to let people send in an opening and let people discuss it a bit. So, not being of necessarily of sound mind, I sent in the opening to THE VALLEY OF SHADOWS, the 4th Derek Stillwater novel due out November 2008. In fact, the lead was pretty much all I had written and it was pretty rough, but the comments I've gotten back so far were wonderful.

It's never easy to take criticism, either. I admit that my initial reaction wasn't 100% positive, though I remained open-minded. There was a tiny bit of sting to it, something along the lines of, "I know it's good, what possible changes could it require?"

The fact is, it was a rough draft and I would have made changes anyway, but I'm not sure I would have made all the changes suggested. And the feedback was overall quite positive. And last night I opened the file and tinkered and I'm quite pleased. And, perhaps, inspired to work harder.

So, if you're interested, pop on over and read it.

And I encourage you to send PJ YOUR lead so we can help you point the way, as well. Thanks PJ. It was a big help. Can't wait for your upcoming novel.

Mark Terry


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