Nancy's Books

Sunday, February 3, 2019

"Write" Start: Image

Today’s blog is a continuation of the “Write” Start series. Along with appealing to the readers with unexpected events or situations and stirring their curiosity, try writing the opening with an image. Focus on a sensory detail—see, hear, touch, taste, smell—with the first line. In  my picture book, DEAR KOMODO DRAGON, the opening focuses on a visual setting:

Over on Komodo Island living, breathing dragons, giant, man-eating dragons, sharp-clawed and fierce, stomp through the wood and lurk in the grass, ready to attack.

The goal is to immediately engross the reader in the setting, hooked by the image. Background information and context can come later. 

Beginning with an image provides a pivotal moment that creates an interesting mental picture. First lines are difficult to write. If we can provide the readers with information to paint a picture in their minds, they are more likely to keep turning the pages. The opening scene is the make-or-break moment for the reader. Either engage immediately, or many, maybe most, readers will close the book and choose another.

Call for Submissions for Young Writers: 
Skipping Stones Magazine. Writings (essays, stories, letters to the editor, riddles and proverbs, etc.) should be typed or neatly handwritten and limited to 1,000 words and poems to 30 lines. We encourage writings in all languages with an English translation, if possible. And, we love illustrations! Please send originals of your drawings, paintings, or photos to our post office box address below. Include your name, age, and address along with your submission. We welcome electronic submissions as well.

Submissions guidelines at

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:

Boys’ Quest Magazine. We are looking for lively writing, most of it from a 10-year-old boy¹s point of view, with the boy or boys directly involved in an activity that is both wholesome and unusual. Our current need is nonfiction articles accompanied by strong supporting photos. 
Nonfiction pieces that are accompanied by clear photos with high resolution are far more likely to be accepted than those that need illustrations. 
The ideal length of a BOYS' QUEST nonfiction piece is 350-375 words for a one-page magazine article or 700-750 words for a two-page magazine article.  
Submissions guidelines at

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