09/15 First Paragraphs and What They Must Do with Judy Reeves
Forget the cliché about “the hook,” the opening paragraph of any story must do more than grab the reader’s attention. First paragraphs are the roadmap to the story, the promise of what’s to come; they set the tone of the story and speak in the voice of the narrator; sometimes they ground the story in place, often they introduce characters.
From the opening sentence, one word after the other, the first paragraph creates the path that leads the reader deeper and deeper into the world of the story. In this workshop, we’ll deconstruct several opening paragraphs, examining how the writer lures us in, and from this, learn techniques we can use in our own writing.
Judy Reeves is a writer, teacher and writing practice provocateur whose books include A Writer’s Book of Days; Writing Alone, Writing Together; A Creative Writer’s Kit and The Writer’s Retreat Kit. Her work has also appeared in the San Diego Reader, The Frozen Moment, A Year in Ink, Vols I and 5 and other antholgies. Two plays, written with a women’s writing ensemble, were produced in the Fritz Blitz. In addition to leading private writing workshops and retreats, Judy teaches at UCSD Extension and speaks at writing conferences internationally. A tenth anniversary Revised Edition of A Writer’s Book of Days was named Best Nonfiction in the 2010 San Diego Book Awards. Her latest release is the Daily Appointment Calendar for Writers. Her website is judyreeveswriter.com She blogs at livelymuse.com.
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