You’ve Got Five Pages, #48CluesintotheDisappearanceofMySister by #JoyceCarolOates, to Tell Me You’re Good. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast


As writers, we hear all the time that we’ve got to hook readers in just the first few pages or else. We’ve got to hook agents in the first few pages or else.

Whether you’re looking to get published or just hoping to hook your reader, first impressions are vital. Compelling opening scenes are the key to catching an agent or editor’s attention, and are crucial for keeping your reader engaged.


Well then, let’s study those first few pages in other people’s stories, shall we?

Today I snagged from the New Release shelf:

48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister by Joyce Carol Oates

I’ll be honest here, folks–After just a few pages, I felt exhausted reading Oates’ 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister.

Oates takes a more experimental, non-linear narrative approach; while vivid, lush, and highly stylized, the prose also doubles back on itself again and again and again to the point you wonder if you’ll ever move on from the observation of the first paragraph. Being Oates, I’m sure the story here will be powerful and engaging for those who enjoy this style of writing. However, if you’re looking for a simple piece of escapism, this particular book is not for you.

No matter what the season brings, keep reading!

Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!