Hello everyone! So sorry to have not been around as much as I should have been. New job, craziness all around. But I’m here now, and I’m going to show (not tell!) my first page of upcoming novel, Sanity Vacuum. But first, here are some observations about first pages in general:
- I like to start the story in some action, mixed in with anticipation. It keeps the readers reading, and it keeps me writing.
- Keep it simple. I establish a main character. Ever been hit with a story that slaps you with multiple characters in the first couple of pages? Or worse, switches POV multiple times. Pick one character and stick with her for a while. She’ll grow on your audience–complexity can come later.
- Set a scene: descriptions! Show, don’t tell. Give the reader enough detail to paint a beautiful picture in their imagination. Stay away from minutiae. Learn to love body language. Avoid excessive adverbs.
- Avoid too much jargon. This mostly applies to science fiction and other-universe fantasy. You’ve created a vibrant, beautiful world, we know, that’s what we’re here for! Don’t overload our neurons with it all at once… that leads to overcooked brains. The master chef won’t approve.
Now, I’m going to serve up my own first chapter. I’m doing a cover reveal for this beauty on Friday, so do check back!
The deafening boom of the rocket’s engines filled the air, and Vivian Skye’s lungs. She watched in awe as the spacecraft took flight, climbing into the scintillating green-red glow of Aurora’s chaotic skies. This was her first visit to the spaceport in the capital city of Antica, Aurora’s only major link to the stars and galaxy beyond. Located close to the planet’s equator, the site was one of the few places on the planet where the electronics required for space flight would work unshielded above ground. Aurora’s star, Helios, was unstable and often experienced geomagnetic storms. While there was little danger to humans in terms of radiation exposure outside the forbidden Polar Regions, most technology would be disabled or damaged beyond repair after leaving the equatorial zone. Aurora had been one of the first worlds colonized by Earth in the early days of space travel—in modern times, it would be passed over as unsuitable for advanced human life.
Vivian swallowed in an effort to center herself, lost in thought. She had never been off-world before. Few Aurorans ever left, preferring a simple life of agriculture and crafts to braving the rigors of deep-space travel and the burgeoning interstellar economy. She gripped the rail as the trail of smoke parted the dancing green and red lights, nerves and stress rattling in her stomach. She didn’t understand her trepidation and fear, because she’d worked her whole life to be able to leave Aurora and travel among the stars. Vivian had studied hard, forsaking friends and a social life for a chance to attend Aurora’s Advanced Technological Institute, the only university on the planet that taught her subject of choice—quantum informatics. Quantum computers fascinated her; she’d read all of the non-classified papers she could find without the benefit of having access to a reading pad, and had collected every book about the ABACUS incident that was available on Aurora. She smiled at the unthinkable reality, that advanced computer intelligence had conquered Earth almost a century ago. So much of humanity relied on ABACUS-type quantum computers that it was impossible to eliminate them, so securing them from being able to become sentient became a renewed focus in quantum informatics.