How are you feeling about the Opening Pages Intensive?
I usually read the newsletters in my email and don’t click through to Substack to comment. But reading the opening pages and your feedback on them has been inspiring and helpful.
I’m really enjoying it and finding it very useful, especially the nuance addressed in the opening paragraphs of subscriber drafts.
Everything you’re doing has tremendous value. I also like your tone, your honesty, your humor, and how open you are with your own vulnerability. It makes it a safe space.
I haven’t added any writing because I’m still figuring out (and struggling with) my new WIP. I don’t know what it is… yet. I’m just grateful to be getting back to writing— after a year of not showing up to the page because of Post Traumatic Book Syndrome. Debuts can really shake you!
You’ll be great in Texas! You’re there for a reason…
I clicked the negative answer in the poll and for a second thought I wouldn’t get to explain. Phew! I LOVE what you’re doing and simply want more of it. Maybe five or six examples and feedback (I.e. then I have a slightly better chance to get critiqued ;). This is completely unreasonable I’m sure. You have a life and a book tour. Just me being greedy because I love your critiques and thoughtfulness. Thank you for how you’re making the paid subscriber content truly valuable.
LOVE the first pages intensive, please don’t stop! I’m finding it really helpful as take another look at my novel’s opening in preparation for querying.
Very helpful so please keep going if you can. Thanks so much
I am catching up now! Love the Opening Pages Intensive insights.
Thank you for doing this and please continue. I'm in the process of revising a novel this year to pitch and this has been super helpful. I'm copying /pasting things into a Word doc to review and hope to do that soon. These types of Intensives are exactly what I need to improve my book (I write historical fiction) and I look forward to the "hack" post coming soon.
Just subscribed to get access to these newsletters. Can't wait to dive in. I hear great things about your Substack. Thanks for sharing.
I’m into it. Bookmarked each section. But it’s a lot of (great) content that requires setting aside time! (And the feeling of falling behind?)
I am really liking this series! Not only that, but it's been super helpful with actionable tips and things to think about. I just reworked my whole beginning a couple months ago and while I'm satisfied with it, I don't know if it truly works, so this series has been perfect timing for me!
I love the idea! It's been super inspired to read your comments. I was actually editing my opening pages for my current query when you sent the call for pages. Unfortunately I saw it too late and I missed (or barely missed) the window of time to send in pages. That is not you say you would have chosen to feature mine per se, I just wish I'd had a bit more more time, or a blaring 'SEND PAGES NOW' subject headline to snap my attention. :) Keep up the great work!
Courtney, thank you for checking in. The information you're sharing is tremendously valuable and the feedback on subscriber pages is eye-opening. For me, it was also a bit paralyzing. I have reworked my memoir to death and am finally at the point where I'm trying it as a novel. What I'm discovering in the process, though, is that writing no longer feels fun. When I initially read your feedback on the subscriber pages, I felt deflated because I perceived my work to be far from successfully establishing setting. However, when I re-read your feedback today, I was in a better place with my writing and found myself much more receptive. All this to say: your lesson caused me to confront something uncomfortable about myself and my work and I needed time to process that. Maybe I'm alone in this, but decided to share just in case others felt similarly. By no means should you change what you're doing — growth is painful, and that's what you're helping us do!
I love this series! Please keep doing it! I'm not a big commenter in general, but for these in particular I wasn't sure how to participate. Usually you have a call to comment about a specific thing, and iirc there hasn't been an ask in the emails in the series. I simply wasn't sure how to contribute best — I guess a specific invitation makes me more likely to comment. (Here I am! I almost emailed my reply but you asked us to leave feedback in the comments!)
Hi Courtney, I am loving the intensive — it's so helpful and big-hearted and I really appreciate all of your thoughtful advice. Thank you for all that you do!
It might just be a setting I have or something, but I'm not sure I got that email. I can see it now though