The first 10 pages make or break your novel manuscript. Why? Well, as we’ve all been told (and in truth have probably experienced), no one reads beyond them if they’re not great.
And that goes double for agents and editors, who are wondering how they’re going to sell the thing.
In other words, your opening has to rock. I’m overhauling mine for the umpteenth time right now, and it’s moving along. Something is happening. It’s kicking and wiggling and strutting a bit. But rocking? I dunno.
I come now seeking advice. What hooks you in a novel’s opening pages? What makes you keep reading? What turns you off? Please share in our “comments” section.
Cathy has already weighed in, of course, and her advice—as usual—was spot on. Cathy has a new publication of her own, just out this week. The opening of her novel-in-progress is featured in Embark: A Literary Journal for Novelists. This nifty journal is dedicated to novel openings, and it’s becoming a go-to for agents seeking new clients. Congrats, Cath! Check out her piece. It’s going to grow into one helluva book.
Write Well, Friends and Happy New Year
2 thoughts on “In the beginning”
Voice! You’ve got to have a voice that grabs me, or I don’t keep reading. It doesn’t have to be bold or splashy, just intriguing. It has to invite me into an interesting world, and give me the sense that something important is coming….
Can’t wait for Cathy’s book to come out! What makes me keep reading, and what turns me off in the beginning? Dialogue, suspense, fascinating characters, and just enough description that makes me want to read on and find out more, but not so much that I’m easily bored. Cathy has nailed all of that in her piece!