Amazing Modern Extra writer Julie Cohen recently blogged about her "first page challenge".
She posted the first page of one of her novels and indicated the 'reveals' about her characters, their issues etc right from the off.
Loads of other amazing writers have gone for it and taken part.
So I figured I'd have a try. Here's the first page of Daredevil Doctor...don't know if it measures up but I thought I'd step up and give the dice a throw...
ANYA FRASER picked up the magazine and shuddered at the parachute jump picture. It looked exhilarating – kind of – but a part of her suspected it was terror hell in freefall form. (Why is Anya so wary?)
The girl in the picture sported vast orange aviator overalls that billowed in the wind. Hardly a look her wardrobe had been waiting to emulate. And g-force cheeks weren’t something she was too keen to experience first hand anytime soon either. (What’s she being asked to do? Jump out of a plane a la the magazine girl?)
“That could be you,” said Katie’s voice on the other end of the line. “Wind hurtling past your ears, adrenaline pumping through your veins like you’re powered by pistons. And a rugged instructor strapped to you for added security. Now that’s what I call exciting. We could christen you the parachuting practice nurse!” (Why would a nurse jump out of a plane if she didn’t want to? What's she got to prove that matters so much she finds it hard to turn down her biggest scary prospect?)
That’s what she called a personal room one o one.
More like her breakfast whooshing through her system to make a prompt reappearance in mid air. No thanks. (And yet she's actually mulling it over - why would she risk the nerve-tussle?)
The wild haired female extreme sports enthusiast grinned out of the picture, arms across her chest in mid air descent. Her parachute firmly fixed to her back, her goggles framing a grimace style smile. Were her jaws wired to make it look appealing as opposed to revealing her abject terror? (Anya clearly can’t bear the thought of doing this – to her it’s her worst nightmare. So what will she do? How will she decline?)
“How many miles up did you say it would be?”
“Ten thousand feet, in tandem with an instructor.”
Hello ‘Red Arrows’. Goodbye bladder control.
Could there be enough chocolate in the world to persuade her stomach it could withstand a charity parachute jump? Anya doubted it. She pushed the magazine aside.
“I’m not convinced Katie. I’ll think it over. I wish you all the best with your efforts but…”
“I’ll work on you, you can’t decline yet. We’ll raise lots of cash. You can get the staff at the practice on board – a team of us, all raising much needed money for Adoption Support. Maybe we’ll fund an extra social work post? And we’ll get press coverage into the bargain. The support of your practice would be immeasurably valuable.”
There it was – Katie’s clever persuasive ploy. And that’s what made her so good at her job as co-ordinator for East Scotland Adoption Support charity. The organisation badly needed funds and the parachute jump would make a big difference. Plus East Scotland Adoption Support held a special place in Anya’s heart, because it had helped her through the early days, after placement of her own adopted son Callum. The boy who’d made her infertility and lost relationship battles bearable – the golden haired child of her dreams, her own little slice of treasure. Ahhh Anya's special cause is her son. We empathise with what she's been through because she's prepared to go the extra tough mile because she feels she's the lucky one. Voila character snapshot.