The hardest part of writing a book is perfecting the beginning. If this isn’t the case for you, then you are either really talented or truly unaware. Understand this: no reader wants to force their way through the first fifty pages of your book in order to determine what it’s about or whether or not they even like it. In truth, if you cannot hook your readers within the first few pages, then the remainder of your book may never see the light of day. There are simply too many books on the market today for readers to waste their efforts on content that doesn’t immediately grab their interest.

HOW TO START A NOVEL

As an author writing a book, remember that you only have the first five to ten pages to hook your reader’s attention. Consequently, these are five to ten pages that you cannot afford to waste. If you want to intrigue audiences from the very start and possibly even keep these readers interested enough to read the rest of your book, then keep the following tips in mind:

Surprise Readers

If you wish to glue your readers to the pages of your book, surprise them. Time and time again, this trick has proven to be a surefire way of grabbing your reader’s attention from the very beginning. Surprise challenges expectations and keeps readers on their toes. More importantly, surprise compels readers to seek answers, to wonder what awaits them around the corner, and to keep reading until they understand how the events play out.

Insert Emotion

Emotions drive human beings by making us feel connected to whatever we’re hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting or touching. Reading a book is no different.  Readers want to feel some sort of emotion from the books they read. So when writing a book, make an effort to stir the emotions of your readers from the very first line of your story. Allow your readers to observe a character’s reaction and compel them to empathize with his/her situation.  If you can get your readers to care about the characters in your book, they will stick with it for the long haul. 

Keep It Simple

Make your writing simple. If the first line or even the first page of your book proves to be a chore for your audience to read (requiring a dictionary search for every other word), you will discourage them from proceeding further. Avoid inundating readers with endless descriptions or pointlessly complex words and sentences. A lot of writers try too hard to be clever and they forget that readers only care about being entertained. Keep things simple when writing a book by making the journey into your story an easy one.

Keep Details at a Minimum

Avoid unnecessary detail when writing a book. Whether you are dealing with character descriptions or simply providing exposition about the history of your story, avoid giving readers too much information too soon. Only give your readers information that is pertinent to the immediate situation. If you give your readers the chore of comprehending and making sense of the entire world and structure of your book at the start, you will overwhelm and eventually alienate them. Your story must be allowed to develop at a slow, methodical pace. 

A Sense of Urgency

Approaching the details of your book at a slow, methodical pace doesn’t mean you can’t start the story off with a bang.  You have a better chance of grabbing the attention of your readers and keeping them tightly glued to your book by throwing them into the thick of the story.  Kick things into chaos at a pivotal moment from the start and readers will be excited and determined to keep reading. Create in your audience the desire to discover more.

Beginnings matter when writing a book. You only get one chance to grab a reader’s attention, pull them in to the story, and guarantee they’ll read on. Approach the beginning of your novel with reverence and take as much time as you need perfecting those first few lines. These lines will determine whether readers keep their noses hidden behind your book or throw it back into the shelf immediately, unimpressed by what they have read.

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