Our first sentence is completing with thousands of other first sentences. I don’t know about you, but after I go through a stack of books based on their covers, I open them at the beginning. The first sentence HAS to hook me. After I read the first sentence then I read the entire first paragraph, then the entire page, just to give the author a chance. If I’m not hooked by the end of the page I shelf the book and move on to the next one in my stack.
1. AN OPENING HOOK! is a must! A sentence or two that will catch our readers’ interest attention. Next week we’ll talk more about “Hook”.
2. Our main character’s name (the protagonist’s name must be on the first page, preferably in the first paragraph)
3. Introduce our main character: sex, age, human or not, personality
4. Some say to start your book in the middle of something: an action, argument; others insist that it’s best to begin with the antagonists living his or her normal life, you choose. Personally, I think both works as long as we do it correctly. Twilight, Sleepless in Seattle, Hunt for Red October, and Divergent all began with the antagonist living their normal lives. Host, The Maze Runner Book One, Star Wars # 3: A New Hope, Star Trek start in the middle of action.) Just do not dish out the backstory on the first page, no one cares, not yet.
6. The protagonist’s life goal, someone, something extremely important to him
7. A hint to the time of year; setting: on Earth; in the past; future, alternate universe
Now, it’s your turn. What else do you put in your first page that will help us “hook” our potential readers?