Writing Tip: Where in Your Story You Should Start

As an author, I read tons about and speak with other successful authors about the business and craft of writing. Today I wanted to share something with you that another wonderful author shared with me last week on my radio show, Dialogue: Between the Lines.

PeterBrownHoffmeister-author-photoHis name is Peter Brown Hoffmeister and he has written a literary thriller called GRAPHIC THE VALLEY. I highly recommend this book for story, yes, but also for character development and writing style. His choice of descriptors would send W. Sommerset Maugham back to the drafting table. And, I love Maugham. He’s one of my favorite “go to” authors when I need to soak inside beautiful words, style and troubled characters.

GraphicTheValley2-PeterHoffmeisterDuring our interview last Thursday, August 22, 2013, after responding to my question about why he chose his particular beginning in GRAPHIC THE VALLEY, Peter said that he follows Joyce Carol Oates‘ advice which is: to begin your novel with the biggest problem.

A beacon shone on my head. A choir of angels trumpeted behind me. I twirled and twirled with my hands held high in the air screaming, “Thank you! Thank you!” to God. Once again, one of my miracle friends has given me a shred of information so valuable, so simple that it could only happen as it did–with all the stars and planets aligning perfectly that morning.

When you read Peter’s Graphic the Valley, tell me if you don’t feel the same way I did. His choice of words creates a sense of rhythm so unique, it feels like you’ve fallen into a new genre of music. It’s a tribal pulse, this odd beat, found in his words and it’s completely seductive. You’ll feel pulled in to the story immediately. By page two, you will murmur, “Oh no,” when Peter poses the biggest problem of the tale.

My prediction? This novel will be a classic long-studied by future writing students all over the world.

I hope you read this book, this GRAPHIC THE VALLEY. When you do, please respond to this post. I would love to hear your take on it.

Either way, in my humble opinion, I wish to say, “Kudos, Mr. Hoffmeister. A story well-written and quite unforgettable.”


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