Nancy's Books

Sunday, January 6, 2019

“Write” Start: The Unexpected

As we enter a brand new year, my goal is beginning with the “write” start. A recent study indicated that announcing our resolutions to the world makes authors less likely to follow through on those good intentions. So, instead of resolutions, I’ll broach the subject of ways to open a story to keep the reader interested, the “write” start. 
Whether writing a picture book or children’s novel, the opening lines should work as an invitation for the reader to keep on reading. It’s the writer’s job to convince the reader to follow along. 

One way to do this is starting with the unexpected. In my book, TROUBLE IN TROUBLESOME CREEK, kids swing across the creek and their landing creates a rock slide that opens an entry into a cave. My goal included an unexpected event to add an element of surprise, make the audience pause for a moment, capture their attention, and intrigue to the point the readers want to know more.
In my next blog, I’ll focus on another type of opening to a story: curiosity.
Call for Submissions for Young Writers:
Magic Dragon. Writing – Work should be neatly printed or typed. If you type it, please double-space. Stories and essays can be up to three pages, poetry up to 30 lines. It is ok to send writing that you have also illustrated. You can write about anything that is important to you; it can be serious or funny, true or fiction. If you send originals and want them returned, enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Submissions guidelines at
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide. Anthology. We’re looking for stories that:
· Have a main character that a middle grade reader (ages 8-12) can identify with;
· Show a diverse set of real characters;
· Are well written, fun to read, and encourage a love of reading science fiction;
· Tell of adventure, space, science. Give us rockets, robots and alien encounters, and we’re pretty happy; Steampunk, time travel, weird west and alternate history are all fine;
Are between 3,000 and 6,000 words

Submissions guidelines at
Nancy Kelly Allen has written 50+ children’s books and a cookbook, SPIRIT OF KENTUCKY: BOURBON COOKBOOK. 
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