Business owners tend to think of interns as free labor. But interns can be much more than that.
Michael Mehlberg should know. He’s a co-founder at Modern da Vinci, a Leesburg, Virginia-based website that offers articles, videos and other tools that promote small business development. He also ran a summer internship program for six years at a small company that built software security products.
Mortgage rates fell this week to a level not seen since May 2013, as the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union shocked financial markets already unsettled by mixed reports about the U.S. economy.
The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.61% from 3.73%, according to Bankrate's survey of large lenders. A year ago, it was 4.19%. Four weeks ago, the rate was 3.81%.
might seem unfair, but it’s nonetheless true that the first few pages of your
novel are the most important.
you’ve written a two-hundred-page novella or seven-hundred-page saga, the
opening matters because it’s your first and probably only opportunity to
interest readers in your story. The first page in particular is also your one
chance to interest a literary agent and publisher, if that’s your aim.
impressions of people are often wrong. First impressions of novels are almost
always right and indicative of the pages that follow. Strengths in the first
few pages are continued throughout as are weaknesses, whatever they may be.
good opening cues readers to the type of story they’re about to read, whether
it’s a mystery, fantasy, literary fiction, memoir or in some other category on
the bookstore’s bookshelf (or e-book equivalent).
good opening introduces your story’s setting, includes at least two characters
and sets your plot in motion. It also demonstrates that you understand voice
and point of view and are in control of the words you've written. A good
opening is clear, credible and specific and internal or external conflict or a problem
the characters must resolve. One way to start a story is to establish normal
for your characters and then disrupt it.
good opening also offers readers something original, showing them that your story
is different from any other story they’ve ever read. Yes, stories have
similarities and genres have conventions you might want to follow, but a fresh concept
takes your opening to the next level. Writing another Twilight, TheDa Vinci Code or Stephanie Plum knockoff is fine,
but only if yours is significantly and interestingly different from the model.
Because if it's not, why wouldn’t readers pick up the original blockbuster
instead of your unoriginal rehash?
first three pages of your novel are also important to show that you can sustain
your story and the tension you put on the first page. A clever “hook” in your
first sentence or paragraph or on your first page can help to start your story;
however, a hook that’s not followed up effectively will soon lose your readers'
openings lack balance between the necessary elements. A weak opening might
merely setup something that’s going to happen later. Or it might introduce
characters with little or no plot or plot with little or no character
development. Some weak opening are all setting and lovely writing without much
plot or character.
weakest openings lift a dramatic scene from the middle of the story, recap a
previous book in the series, include one or more backstory dumps or show that
the author has no knowledge of novel-writing craft. Authorial intrusion into a
character’s voice or head-jumping in point of view are two easy giveaways of an