Have you ever been looking for something to eat and get your choices narrowed down to one, only to take the first bite and be disappointed? It’s okay, but sort of bland. You can take it or leave it. Have you had the opposite experience? Your first bite is delicious. You want more. You keep eating. Smiling while you chew. Eating until it’s all gone. Disappointed when you’re done. Thinking maybe you’ll get some more of that. Mmm.
I’m not talking about dark chocolate covered pomegranates. I’m talking books.
That first bite a reader takes of your book can decide whether they keep reading or set it down and look for something more enticing. It can decide whether they look for another book by you or go on to their next author on their to-be-read list.
Most of us have short attention spans, also called very busy lives. We have to be pulled in by the first words in a book, or by the end of the first chapter at the latest. Hook ‘em or lose ‘em. That doesn’t have to mean a death or tossing us into the middle of a firefight or a sex scene. It means whetting our appetites, showing us this will be an interesting book or an amazing character or a fabulous locale.
Books do not start off as slowly as they used to. Readers have too many choices, too little time, and too many distractions.
Think about your beginnings. Work on them. Do you want to serve your readers bland white bread or dark chocolate covered pomegranate bites?
Man, I knew I should not have gotten out that bag to see how to spell “pomegranate.” Curses on those delicious little brown devils!
5 weeks ago