What is the point of writing a book? For many of us, it’s a simple drive to want to know what happened next to the cool people who wander into our heads. For readers, it’s because THEY want to find out about these cool folks who are wandering across the pages.
But there has to be a hook-- something has to happen. Questions need to be raised, and throughout the course of your work (short story, novella, novel, or series) answers need to be offered.
Common writing knowledge dictates that the book should start with action. But some authors take that to mean physical action only. Instead of saying start with action, I would say start with a question. The start of your book should be where something has changed in your main character’s life, a spot where a question has been raised that in one way or another messes them up.
This doesn’t have to be a big thing, but keep in mind that it needs to be the stone that starts the avalanche of your book. Not enough change, and the book peters out, too much too soon and you could confuse readers, or lose them by throwing huge changes at a character the reader doesn’t even know yet.
Example: If you dangle someone I don’t know over a fiery pit of flesh eating garden gnomes I’m not going to be near as concerned as if you’re dangling my newly found best friend (your main character whom I’ve grown to love) over that same pit.
So that first question needs to come quickly to pull the reader in, but not be so big that the reader isn’t vested yet. But you need to have a question there; otherwise a reader doesn’t need to go past your first page.
What about you writers out there? What questions start your books? Readers? What do you love? What do you hate?
Thanks for coming by!