There is nothing like starting a manuscript (or a book) and getting hooked on the first page (or first few pages). Sure, the whole rest of the manuscript better live up to the beginning but there’s nothing more exciting than being drawn in immediately.
- Dynamic characters – I don’t mean that they do something on the first page. They can, but they can also just be fascinating people, and be showing just how fascinating they are on that first page.
- Unexpected plot twist – This is hard to do in only a page, but I’ve seen it done. One of my favorite books, The Amulet of Samarkand, does exactly this.
- Strong voice – Obviously the voice of your work always matters, but it really makes a difference in that very beginning when you are trying to get someone hooked.
- A really great idea – If you’re world is truly unique or your book has some sort of really fantastic conceit, why not try to work it into the very beginning? (Unless of course it later acts as a surprise twist.)
- In medias res – Ah, high school English terms. However, starting in the middle of things can be exciting, and it can be a great way to get the story started.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.