I often tell writers to read the first line, first paragraph, first chapter of books, tons of books...just the first....to see how those firsts effect them.
Then, go create a unique, enticing beginning.
First line from I'M NOT HER by Janet Gurlter, Sourcebooks Fire.
No matter how much I don't want to care, it's not easy being stranded all alone in the middle of a crowded room, like the ugliest dog at the animal shelter.
and first paragraph...
No matter how much I don't want to care, it's not easy being stranded all alone in the middle of a crowded room, like the ugliest dog at the animal shelter. Kristina shoved me into her shiny red Toyota like she's my fairy godmother, insisting I do the party "for my own good." But other than a few heys and disinterested stares, no one notices that I'm here. Before long, even Kristina forgets about me. Swept up by her friends and admirers, Kristina leaves me bathing in my own flops sweat.
I signed Janet Gurtler based on the first 50 pages of I'M NOT HER. There were no other pages back then but I knew Janet had a unique voice and a command of character. I wasn't wrong. Janet has gone on to selling 7 Contemporary YAs to Sourcebooks Fire.
Praise for I'M NOT HER
"Rich in characterization, Gurtler's novel wrestles with some serious issues and explores different means of coping (or escaping) yet manages not to be overwhelming or bleak. Just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult, this is a strong debut that attempts to answer the question, What does it really mean to live?" - Booklist
Check out Janet and all her books at her website: http://www.janet-gurtler.com/books.html
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