Web site: first10pages
Bryan Burch, co-editor of The Whistling Fire and MFA student, provided responses (to be posted in May) for my Six Questions For. . . blog and introduced me to his blog. Bryan analyzes the openings of selected novels in an attempt to determine what it is about these books that makes him want to keep reading. The categories he uses for each book include: First Sentence, Prevailing Narrative Voice, What the reader learns in the first paragraphs, What the reader learns in the first ten pages, Language, Character, Setting, Plot & Expectations beyond the tenth page, and Random Comments. Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McGaig, Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and The Bad Seed by William March are a few of the novels analyzed on this site.
Here’s what Bryan says about the narrative voice of The Bad Seed.
Prevailing Narrative Voice: Past tense. Third person selective singular. From the opening line the reader is introduced to the internal thinking of Mrs. Christina Penmark. The narrator observes and reports on all the characters, but only enters Mrs. Penmark’s thought process.