By: Stephanie Morrill
We've likely all had the experience of picking up a book, reading the first scene, and having no interest in continuing the story. I would guess we've also all had times when we've read a first scene, felt instantly hooked, and flipped the page to start the next scene.
Obviously this is the feeling we want to create with our own stories. So how do we know if we've started our book in a good place?
Here are some things to keep in mind when you're picking where to start your story:
1. The opening of your book is a promise to your reader.
What is it you want to promise them? Is it, "This is a fast-paced adventure novel"? Or, "This story will follow a quirky character and takes place in an imaginative world"?
Different books have different feels to them, and you want to make sure you're prompting the correct feeling for your type of story. Otherwise, your reader will be disappointed if the book opens like a fast-paced adventure before easing into a coming-of-age novel.
It's a good idea to read several opening scenes from books that are published in the same genre you write. Epic fantasies open in a different way than romance novels, and if you want to appeal to readers of those genres, it's smart to study the writers who are doing well.
2. In general (I stress, in general) it's best to open with your main character.
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