In April 2015, B.K. Stevens debuted the blog series “The First Two Pages,” hosting craft essays by short story writers and novelists analyzing the openings of their own work. The series continued until just after her death in August 2017, and the full archive of those essays can be found at Bonnie’s website. In November 2017, the blog series relocated to my website, and the archive of this second stage of the series can be found here.
For the first First Two Pages essay of the new year, I’m indulging myself a little—analyzing my own new story in the January/February 2020 issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (my first story for AHMM, in fact). This story will also be the title story for my new collection The Boy Detective & The Summer of ’74 and Other Tales of Suspense, forthcoming late February 2020 from Crippen & Landru. I hope you enjoy this preview of the story and this glimpse at some of my craft choices in pulling the opening pages together.
Please use the arrows and controls at the bottom of the embedded PDF to navigate through the essay. You can also download the essay to read off-line.Taylor-Boy-Detective-1
Nice slow beginning and then it quickly ramps up the tension. Nice. I look forward to reading the whole story. And I love this blog. Thank you for continuing it.
Thanks so much, Patricia! —both for interest in the story and the continued support of the blog! Already have the next couple of essays ahead, and they’re winners. Looking forward to another year of great writers here!