I recently had the honor of being named as a finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest, and had two days in which to make changes to my entry to resumbit for the finals.
That was a tense two days, as I agonized over every word, every sentence and every paragraph (and for that matter--every comma). My entry consisted of a one-page, single-spaced synopsis and the first fifteen pages of my manuscript.
The whole process underscored for me the importance of the first few pages of any novel. Here is the monumental task that a writer faces when beginning their manuscript:...
(See http://wordvessel.blogspot.com for the remainder of the article.)