Today’s Tip: Writing a Good Beginning
The beginning of a book is very, very important. It is the equivalent of the hook of an essay- the one thing besides the title that grabs the reader’s attention. Many readers judge books by the first chapter. If you’re an author, that’s scary! These readers are the ones you need to be aware of.
But don’t be afraid. There are many different successful ways to write the beginning of a good book. Here are some suggestions:
- Beginning in the middle of a crisis.
- Ending the chapter with a crisis.
- Using mysterious prologues.
- Introducing a completely new world.
- Using your imagination.
There are countless ways to start your novel; it really depends on the writer. Different writers have different writing styles. Take J.K. Rowling for example (wow, I’ve mentioned her in every writing tip I’ve posted). The first Harry Potter book, The Sorcerer’s Stone began with a normal day for Mr. Dursley. The events gradually became more mysterious as Dursley notices the people in cloaks on the streets and the weather forecast mentioning owls in daylight. The first chapter ends with Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, and Hagrid leaving a baby Harry at the doorsteps of 4 Privet Drive.
This is a combination of “mysterious prologue” and “ending in a crisis”. The reader wants to know what happens to Harry and why the weird events happened.
The first chapter is your hook. Always end in a cliffhanger and make your reader read more. They CANNOT put down the book. The truth is, you should treat every chapter as a hook- if all of them end in cliffhangers, the readers will be on the edge of their seats, ready for more.