Tip 4: Open with a Bang!

by richard on March 10, 2011

hobie 300x99 Tip 4: Open with a Bang!

This post relates to my blog series on the top ten tips to writing a novel. Visit my archives to see the full list, and other relevant postings.

“Help please! Somebody help me!” It took all of Michael’s strength to hang onto the tiny ledge with his fingertips.
“No one can hear you, there’s no one who can save you now,” Chester replied. “It’s time to meet you maker.”
Sweat trickled into Michael’s eyes, but to his horror he was still able to see Chester move to the edge and stamp his foot down on his fingers. The pain was intense, but at the same time it took some pressure off his strained fingers as they struggled with their fleeting grip. He realized, ironically, it was Chester who was now holding him onto the ledge – his final chance for rescue.
Just like that, the foot released its pressure, and he fell backwards, into the black abyss.
“Nooo!” he cried. Panic overtook his very soul, and darkness enveloped him as he waited for the inevitable.

It is absolutely vital that you start your book with a hook that will entice readers to see what happens next. Think about presenting your manuscript to a publisher – your ultimate reader. They may get faced with hundreds of novels a year, and certainly don’t have the patience to read through your whole book to get the point. If they’re not intrigued at the end of the first few paragraphs, they won’t bother to turn the page.

Don’t think about setting the tone, or background for your story at the start of the book. If necessary, you can work that in later. Right now, at the very beginning, get to the crux of things, and hit the ground running!

Richard Jagger formerly worked in the biotechnology industry, and has completed his first novel “The Cure”. Apart from writing his second novel, he works as a professional photographer. He has had two solo photographic exhibitions and one joint painting exhibition. Further information can be found at www.richardjagger.com

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