mysteries and motorcycles
Monday, July 27, 2009
Robert W. Walker Guest Blogger
I was thrilled when Rob Walker accepted my invitation to stop by my blog and say a few words. Rob has an impressive repertoire of titles in his portfolio. I've read his work and can confirm that he is a master story teller.
With that, I'll hand him the microphone and surrender the podium.
Opening Lines & First Paragraphs Throughout the Novel
When I begin a story, I work exceptionally hard on the opening scene, opening lines, and first paragraphs to draw the reader in and to fill that page with life and excitement, to in essence make it as compelling as I can. In fact, COMPELLING is a word carved into my forehead as I work…well, not literally but figuratively for sure. Next thing is to keep the five senses planted before you as you work. It may behoove a writer to place a listing of the five senses over his work station along with the word compelling…so as to never write a single page in the whole of the novel that does not triangulate at least three and maybe five of the senses, and perhaps that sixth sense as well—and to make it all forward moving, fast, compelling, drawing the reader ever onward.
I love it when the senses and the sense of a compelling story comes together, and I believe I’ve accomplished this with my novel Children of Salem, a romance in the time of the witch trials, which I have just put out as an original hystery-mystery romantic thriller E-book. The cover tells the story, that I worked tirelessly on the research for years upon years, but I dramatized the love story to become the forefront story. I know for a fact that I could not have written this version of Children of Salem had I not first written as many books before it, especially my historical novels of the Inspector Alastair Ransom Series begun with City for Ransom, which, with its sequels, Shadows in White City and City of the Absent have been put up as E-books as well.
I currently have ten books up that can be downloaded to the Kindle and other palm readers or to a PC. Children of Salem is my latest placed on Amazon for Kindle, all of which makes me a small press publisher! I managed it all through a visit to dtpamazon.com where a three-step process got me going about three weeks ago. This after JA Konrath got all over my head for not getting on top of this. Joe has himself placed over ten works up on Kindle.
But back to that business of craft and making opening lines and paragraphs compelling. I believe every scene, every chapter calls for a renewed exciting opening line and paragraphs. To this end I am attaching here the first page of each of the three separate “books” found in between the covers of Children of Salem. I think you will find it interesting to read the first page of each book in this 600 plus manuscript selling for 2.99 on Kindle now. Below are those three all-important opening pages. I hope they do as I preach:
C H I L D R E N of S A L E M
by Robert W. Walker
B O O K O N E
Boston, March 5, 1692
“You want me to go into Salem Village Parish disguised as a man of the cloth and that doesn’t offend you?” Jeremiah Wakely hoped the level of his shock didn’t show on his face.
“Not in the least!” Reverend Cotton Mather fired back, registering the surprise on Wakely’s starkly handsome Black Irish features.
“Not in the least,” parroted Jeremiah in a near whisper, pushing aside a shock of raven-black hair.
“Not so long as it provides us with what we need, Brother Wakley.” The two men had walked the length of the public area of the great North Church of Boston from rear pew to altar. “Look here, Jeremiah, my friend, you’ll have no problem ingratiating yourself with this Reverend Samuel Parris.”
“I am not so sure, sir? Not from what I’ve seen of him in the court records your father provided me.”
B O O K T W O
Late evening, April 13,, 1692
“A challenge to every Puritan,” said Reverend Parris where he stood drinking ale at Ingersoll’s Inn. He’d come uncharacteristically late to the Inn. Ingersoll was in fact closing, but when he found the minister at his doorstep, he remained in business, his light on. He had poured a pint of ale for Parris, whose bill with Ingersoll had been settled recently with a bushel of beans and potatoes, goods others had paid the minister in. Parris had need of someone’s ear and Ingersoll had been elected. He informed Ingersoll of the truth of Jeremiah Wakely’s identity and his true purpose in the village, and that he’d been sent in to spy on the minister, and all those letters he asked you to post, Nathaniel—I was right to intercept them. He was a fraud from the beginning, and he thought I didn’t know.
Ingersoll solemnly nodded. “He is an arrogant scoundrel, that young pup.”
“It’s the same with the Falllen One.”
“Aye, he’s the ultimate arrogant angel.”
“What angel?” asked the carpenter, Zachariah Fiske, who’d seen the light on and had stopped in for a dram.
B O O K T H R E E
Circumstances in Salem and its environs moved rapidly during June, far too fast for Jeremy or anyone to make any further proper appeals. Twenty days after the hanging of Bridget Bishop, the cantankerous innkeeper with as foul a mouth as any sailor in Salem Harbor, five more accused, arrested women were judged guilty in the Court of Oyer & Terminer—among them, Rebecca Nurse.
The others on the June 30th list of recalcitrant guilty were Sarah Goode, to no one’s surprise, Susannah Martin of Amesbury, the vixen who’d caused Henry Carr to hang himself twenty years before—or so Anne Carr Putnam said; Elizabeth How of Ipswich, and Sarah Wilde of Topsfield. Along with the accusations of the Salem seers against her, Goode had been condemned on the word of her eight-year-old, mentally distracted child Dorcas. All of the other accused had stood adamant against the court as had Goode—most of them cursing the court, the judges, and their accusers in no uncertain terms.
NOW back to the blog: If you kindle or know anyone who does, I hope you will recommend Children of Salem, an in depth and complex historical novel that mixes romance with intrigue and the awful facts of what brings about enough hatred in people to hang thy neighbor. Thanks Dennis for having me as your guest! Perhaps if Children sells a mill as an E-Book, I can get a publisher to give it a serious read. There is method in my madness.
Posted by The Unreal McCoy ::
9:55 AM ::
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