Well, I attended the Romance Writers of America National Conference in Orlando, Florida the last week of July. I was lucky enough to be chosen to present a workshop with my fellow writer and three-time Golden Heart Finalist, Claire Cavanaugh. Our topic was Inside Scoop: Analyzing Openings as an Agent, Bookseller and Reader, Then Problem Solve as a Writer. (presentation, handout and support material are below). Somewhere between 200 and 250 people attended, and we didn’t scare anyone off, so it seemed to be a success.
In this workshop, we used small examples of openings from Orson Scott Card, Nora Roberts w/a J.D. Robb, Jayne Ann Krentz, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dean Koontz, Mary Kay Andrews, Gregory Maguire, and Deanna Raybourn. Then, several amazing writers submitted their openings and we analyzed them for strengths and weaknesses.
One of the most interesting aspects of the workshop was a survey we took of agents, readers and booksellers. We provided overarching information in our PowerPoint presentation, but we also have a more detailed report which is fascinating reading. An audio version of the workshop will be available soon From Bill Stephens Productions (https://rwa.billspro.com/catalog/). Also, I have the handouts, presentation and survey report for reference in the links below. I hope you find the information as interesting as we did, and I hope the examples help you improve your openings. Here are the links:
Inside Scoop Handout
Inside Scoop Sample Hook Openings PowerPoint Presentation (2007)
Inside Scoop Sample Hook Openings PowerPoint Presentation (2003)
Inside Scoop Powerpoint Presentation (2007) – This presentation is best viewed by “viewing the show.” Go to View and select “View Slide Show.”
Inside Scoop PowerPoint Presentation (2003) – This presentation is best viewed by “viewing the show.” Go to View and select “View Slide Show.”
Inside Scoop Complete Survey Report
Claire and I would love to hear from you. Do you know of openings that you think are particularly strong? Let us know. Thanks for stopping by. See you next time.