The Iowa Summer Writing Festival Students and yours truly at our "Killer Openings" class, July 2022

"Happy Families are all alike; unhappy families are unhappy in their own way."--Tolstoy

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in posession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
--Jane Austen

"I am an invisible man." --Ralph Ellison

    In this weekend workshop over Zoom, these ten writers and I discussed what makes a Killer Opening Line, a Killer Opening Paragraph and first page(s), a Killer Inciting Incident, and a Killer First Act. Our purpose was twofold: we studied the subject and workshopped opening scenes in order to write Killer Openings that editors, agents, and readers would not be able to put down; and in order to have a roadmap for ourselves so that we would be able to finish our novels, stories and memoirs.

    Some writers came to the class with a project in mind, and some came without any idea about what they were going to write about. Some came with a novel completely finishshed, and these writers were interested in learning how to make their openings more compelling as they revised. 

    It was a fantastic class and weekend, due in part to the fascinating topic, and due in large part to the fantastic group of writers who participated.

    I'll be teaching the class again in the fall, and I'd love to have you in it.

    To sign up for the Festival's email list, just write to: iswfestival@uiowa,edu


    Hope to see you in a future class, so we can write some KILLER OPENINGS together!


Photo by Benjamin Bal√°zs from Unsplash 



 

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