Irrespective of genre, writing the beginning of a novel is all about seducing the reader. In today’s world of easily available and multiple avenues of entertainment, a novel has to compete with far more than other novels.
You need a beginning that will snag the reader’s attention right off the bat.
As humans, we’re geared to find answers to questions and notice anything that is out of the ordinary. Without these two essential skills, we wouldn’t have lasted long in a pre-historic jungle. This is why stories hold our interest, why readers pick up stories to read.
Here’s how to hook their attention, and keep it:
1. Write a killer first line or paragraph.
That first line needs to lead into the second and the third.
“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”
2. Give the Who, Why, What, Where, How.
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