The beginning to arguably one of the best books ever written is a twenty-page prologue ‘Concerning Hobbits’.It goes on to provide some fascinating insights into pipe-weedand extensive notes on administrative districts of the Shires. It’s a wonder the reader ever makes it to the green door in the hill.
Sadly (or maybe not), the days of casually wandering into a story, like The Lord of the Rings, are more or less gone. Busy readers, agents and editors need a reason to stick with you …
That is where the hook comes in.
Yep – really!
If you want to catch yourself a fish, you need a rod, a whole lot of patience, and maybe a bag of maggots.
But before you even get to the river you need to make sure your hook is hooky enough, or you won’t even catch a cold.
In with a bang
Welcome to the new age of short attention spans and immediate gratification. You know what I’m talking about. With so much information out there to see, no one has the time to wait for you to get to the point. Now gone are those days of slow starting stories. If you want any agent, publisher or reader to give your book the attention it deserves, there are a number of key factors you should take into consideration when starting your book.
This is the first line to my book The Secret Deep. Forgive me for starting this post with my own writing, but it is relevant, I promise. I rewrote the entire opening of my debut hundreds of times, over the course of nearly five years. And it was worth it because I’m proud of this line.
Would you read on? I would, I think. And that’s everything.
Emma Read is the author of Milton the Mighty (Chicken House), which was shortlisted for the Bath Children’s Novel Award. She is represented by Lauren Gardner at Bell Lomax Moreton.
Chio Zoe is a Young Adult Fantasy writer. Her debut novel To Cross a Blade amd Dagger placed her as a finalist in the Breakthrough Novel Awards. She is currently working on book 2 scheduled to be released in 2019.