Listen now (29 mins) | First pages are impossible… so we’re hearing from authors about how they got them right. In this episode, Jane Roper discusses the first pages of her second novel, The Society of Shame, and how she forced herself into a different writing process to get the book done. We also talk about the necessity of being hard on your characters, finding your story by giving your protagonist the worst possible version of what they think they want, and digging into the details your subconscious has offered you as you write your way forward.
The variety of authors so far has illuminated a paradox. Jane Roper "starts in the middle" whereas others have offered prologue sorts of first pages. Yet I found it took a long time to get to the heart of the first scene in Society of Shame. Though the endpoint of the scene was clear from the outset, the inciting incident unfolded slowly.