What a First Page Needs
Something needs to be happening that invokes a question within the reader. Who is this person? What is happening? Why do we want to keep reading this story?
2. An interesting character who we want to know more about.
The character should be someone we want to know more about and spend time with. They need to have a goal and we need to know why they want it, or at least wonder why they want it.
3. A turning point. Something has to be happening to the character.
This is called 'starting in the action'. Something needs to be happening. This can be as simple and relaxing as driving into a new town to start a new life. It can be showing the character at work where something interesting happens to them. It can be the receiving of news. It can be as complex and action packed as running for their lives or a fight scene. Depends on the genre and book.
4. Set the tone for the book.
Set the tone of your story in the opening lines and chapter. In a romance, we want some sexual tension and chemistry. The hotter the romance, the hotter the chemistry. In a thriller, we want fast paced action. In a small town setting, we want the community feel and sense of small town living. In a rural fiction, we want to see and feel the way of the land.
What We Like To Read (These are participants personal thoughts)
- Something interesting is happening
- Know who the character is
- Being introduced to a very hot hero
- Being grounded in the setting and where we are as a reader. We don't need all the detail, just if we're in a street or bar or on a farm etc.
- Interesting dialogue that is easy to follow
- An intriguing hook - having a question we want answered!
- An easy read - short sharp sentences invoke tension and hook our attention quicker too.
What We DON'T Like to Read (These are participants personal thoughts)
- Lots of dialogue - where we don't know who's talking, where we are, etc. Need to filter dialogue in with grounding the reader with a character and setting.
- Long winded sentences.
- Actions or thoughts that don't make sense and draw us out of the story by wondering 'what does that mean?'
- Too much description without character or action.
- A character who seems boring.
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