Recently I've looked at a wedding venue or two (for baby girl)- and even though the date is a little way in the future, finding the right place is very very important.

Not only does it have to sum them up as a couple, not too rustic, not too urban, not too city, not too country. It also has to make a great first impression and then a good lasting impression.

It's something I endeavour to remember when I send my work out there. Having been on the 'other side', as in on the editorial committee for Page Seventeen for several years, I know what I 'looked' for when considering pieces.

When you read so many entries (in many years, hundreds) they have to stand out.

First impressions count....

But that is not could be an intriguing title, great opening line....something that captures your attention and makes you want more.

Should be easy shouldn't it? But I remember so many stories, articles and poems simply dropped. After this initial wow, there was nothing inside. Worse, when I had finished reading, there was nothing to make me remember it.

Some pieces had intricate detail---too much overly crafted detail.

They focused so much on the fine minutiae that there was no big picture. No whole. It left the reader wondering what they had missed.

And so many, if they had details, focused on the wrong ones. The red herrings of the detective novel. My writing group calls this the 'coffee cup' in the movies.

You are forced to focus on the coffee cup, there is shot after shot of it, and you think it has to be so important. So you note that it is fine china, blue willow pattern, slight crack to the left of the handle, it has tea in it, dark tea, no milk.

At the end of the movie you realise that cup had no impact on any part of the story at all---it was merely a prop.

I try to remember all this when sending out. Make a good first impression, something that stands out of the crowd. 

Have a strong beginning but remember to keep the details pertinent, don't go overboard with metaphor and simile, don't focus on the wrong 'coffee cup'.   

Try to make it a whole, one that stands out after reading so many others.

Something that makes sense--yet intrigues and leaves you wondering where you will go if you follow it.



Popular posts from this blog