Comprehensive, craft-focused analyses from Editorial Department editors on how bestselling authors start their novels and get popular stories underway.

DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER, by Jeff Lindsay Considering pacing, plot, and story setup in the first 50 pages

Flap Copy: He’s handsome and charming, but something in his past has made him abide by a different set of rules. He’s a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likable: He only kills bad people.

Ross’s Take: Though Darkly Dreaming Dexter was a book that I feel could have been improved, there’s a good deal the author does quite well in terms of pacing, story setup, drawing readers into the world […]

By |2021-02-05T16:02:53+00:00|Book Reviews and Analysis, First 50, General, Mystery / Suspense, RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER, by Jeff Lindsay Considering pacing, plot, and story setup in the first 50 pages

South of Hell by P.J. Parrish A “First 50” Review

by Ross Browne

Flap Copy: For Louis Kincaid and his lover, female detective Joe Frye, the present and the past collide when they team up to find out what happened to Jean Brandt, who was reported missing by her husband from their Michigan farmhouse in 1981. Jean’s daughter Amy, only five at the time, has been plagued by dream-like memories of a violent killing, and it is assumed that the murder she has seen is her mother’s. But as Amy’s veracity as […]

By |2019-06-17T16:54:27+00:00|First 50, Mystery / Suspense, RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on South of Hell by P.J. Parrish A “First 50” Review

Twilight, A “First 50” Review A review of the first 50 pages of Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

The first 50 pages of Twilight make for what I would call a mildly interesting read.

The novel opens with a preface of a half page in which an unnamed narrator writing in the first person contemplates the fact that she’s about to die, presumably at the hand of an also-unnamed ‘hunter.’ What’s interesting here is that the narrator doesn’t seem too upset that she’s presumably about to be killed. She confesses to not regretting the decision that led to her being here and […]

By |2019-06-19T18:49:24+00:00|Book Reviews and Analysis, First 50, RSB, Trends|Comments Off on Twilight, A “First 50” Review A review of the first 50 pages of Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer