Monday, August 19, 2013
CREATE A GRIPPING PAGE ONE BY RITA KARNOPP
We all do it. We are all excited by it. We all go from one to the next. . . with great anticipation. Yep, we love reading book blurbs. We are gripped by the cover . . . and that compels us to read what is happening. They are the enticers . . . like . . . seeing your date for the first time. He’s wearing a soft, expensive cream pullover with coco slacks. The expectation is high.
The same goes for the blurb on the back of the book. It’s the build-up and we have incredible expectations for what’s between page one and the end.
Now your book must deliver. Page one must hook the reader, or in this day of ‘fast gratification’ the book could be gone with a delete key. I firmly believe you must make the reader care about your characters on that first page, and make him/her turn those pages with great excitement and expectation. Don’t let them down for a moment . . . or they may never turn the page.
We hear it all the time. “Grab the reader from the opening sentence! Don’t waste one word! If you don’t have me excited, entranced, scared, or even laughing by the end of the first page – I will go in search of a book that will. Yep, it’s as simple as that.
In her March 1, 2011, 8 Ways to Write a 5-Star Chapter One blog, Elizabeth Sims said, “. . . remember who you are and why you’re writing this book. What is your book about? What purpose(s) will it serve? Write your answers down and look at them from time to time as you write. (By the way, it’s OK to want to write a book simply to entertain people; the noblest art has sprung from just such a humble desire.)”
I put that comment on my bulletin board because it’s soooo important. Reminding yourself about what your book is about, what purpose it serves, and why you’re writing it will steer your story in the right direction.
If you haven’t read Elizabeth Sim’s book, You've Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams, you must! Check it out and let her know I highly recommend reading it!
Oops… I got side tracked … thanks Elizabeth! J Okay, so my point here is read and re-read your first page. Make sure it hooks your reader. Advice given me when I started reading . . . and I truly follow it – book after book -
Write your book. Once you type ‘the end’. . . read page one of chapter one. Read page two of chapter two. Read page three of chapter three. Then, read page four of chapter four.
Now . . . be honest – which chapter gripped you or involved you to the point you cared what happened next? Don’t just say page one just because you worked so hard to create it. Choose with all honesty, which chapter drew you into the character and pulled you into the plot?
Whichever chapter you choose, this needs to be your page one of chapter one. You can always work important information you shared in the previous chapters into the existing book. You follow this one simple process and I guarantee your book will be better for it.