If you are a regular reader, you know that I started a Novel Writing Class on January 27. See the blog I posted that day: If I want to write a novel about a law firm…I need your ideas. 

Our instructor, Patricia Burroughs, a novelist and screenwriter has been awesome. I have learned a great deal from her and from the young students in the class with me.

Last night was the last class. Next week I start a new Patricia Burroughs class: Blueprinting Your Novel.  To show you I am “all-in” to learn, I also signed up for the 2014 DFW Writers Conference, which will be held the first week in May.

I know I will never be another Ernest Hemingway, or even a John Grisham or Scott Turow, but I am learning a great deal and I think some of it might help you. First, I am using the creative right side of my brain. As lawyers, we exercise the left side of our brain every day. I contend that the lawyers who become most successful also use their creative side. So, that is one reason to consider taking a creative writing class.

Second, think about this question: Why do we read (and write) novels?  I like this quote from that article:

First, writers have to recruit or seduce or beguile us into their world – only then do we trust them to take us on this journey…Then there is the journey, and that’s where the power is most obvious.

You have to recruit or seduce or beguile clients, potential clients and referral sources to read your blog. How can you do it?

I have learned that the first page of a novel, indeed the first sentence of a novel, must capture the reader’s attention. As you will see here: Novel Writing – Grabbing the Reader’s Attention with the First Sentence, Novelists must:

  1. Introduce an intriguing character.
  2. Drop readers into the middle of things.
  3. Start with something a little off mark.
  4. Compare and contrast something.
Think about it. These same principles apply to blogging. Your headline and first sentence must capture your targeted readers’ attention.
  1. You can make the reader your character.
  2. You can drop them into the middle of something going on around them.
  3. You can start with something a little off mark. If it is on mark then they would have no reason to read your blog post.
  4. You can compare or contrast something. That is a great way to capture your readers’ attention.

Prior to my first class, I planned to write my first novel on the rise and fall of a law firm. I may still do that, but my current idea is to take Gina, my main character from my book: Rising Star and get her into all kinds of difficulty.

If you read the book you know that I borrowed the opening scene from the book and movie: Double Indemnity.

In my book, Gina goes back to her office after the firm holiday party to resign because she has attracted only one client and that matter is over. She calls herself a  “one hit wonder.”  In my novel, Gina will use “one hit wonder” reason to resign as a guise for the real reason. She is scheduled to meet with the US Attorney for the Southern District of Texas on January 2. When the press gets wind of the meeting, they will blow the lid off of her work and private life involving her one client.

I am having great fun.