"Whether it is fiction or nonfiction, if it's of book length be sure that its motor
is running in the first three pages. The first three paragraphs would be even better.
By 'motor running,' I mean piquing the reader's curiosity about what comes next
so that he won't want to put the book down." --Sol Stein
Over the course of time that I've worked on my book, I've gone to a number of conferences, attended writer's workshops, and been privileged to have sample pages critiqued. I've kept a log of comments, from which--in each subsequent revision--I've drawn from to make improvements to my writing. Here's a sample of what's been said:
- "Get them hooked then feed them later."
- "Keep them turning the pages."
- "Give main characters an entrance--let the reader know someone important has entered."
- "Start the story with a bang--you must catch an editor's eye before you can do so for a child."
- "Don't 'information dump' on the first page."
- "Keep the action moving at the beginning."
- "The first chapter is a bit slow and not much happens. I'd start (pointing to second chapter) here."
*photo courtesy of sxc.hu/