By: Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy
The first page of your manuscript is critical for more than just grabbing an agent's attention. When readers go to the bookstore, a book catches their eye, they read the cover blurb, and if they're still interested, they'll often read the first page or so. If those pages grab them, they'll buy the book. If not, they'll put it back on the shelf.
This is why agents and editors are so hard on those opening pages. They know this is how a lot of readers buy books. Those first 250 words need to grab the reader. As a professional writer, you need to be able to do that.
And you do that by giving readers questions they want answers to. Why are the characters doing X? Who is following them? What's the deal with these two people? It can be anything as long as it's not "What's going on?" A vague opening that confuses is not the type of question you want readers asking.
The adage is "start with action" but that doesn't mean blow up a car or rob a bank. It means start with something in the process of X. X can be something going wrong, (my personal favorite), something revealed, something denied, etc. But there's a sense that something is about to happen, and that it won't be good for somebody.
Let's look at four common opening killers. Agent Kristin Nelson said 90% of submissions don't get beyond the first two pages for these reasons.
1. Opening pages that are nothing but backstory and explanation.
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Read the full article HERE!
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