Let’s say that your book is handed over to a good number of folks and you give them ten minutes each, all they can do is to read any one chapter of your novel. Post ten minutes, you grab away the book from them. How many of them do you think will buy the book?
More often, people start reading the first chapter. So it is important to write a compelling opening chapter
Writing Chapters that hook your reader to the novel – shall we dive deep?
Don’t bother to introduce the characters. Just imagine that all your characters are interacting in a room – your readers enter the room out of the blue! Will the characters stop to introduce themselves to your reader? – NO. Your reader will stand there and try to figure out what they are talking, and mentally figure out who is who. But, if the interaction between your characters are not interesting – your reader will exit
One proven method is to start off with a hot interaction or a verbal fight between your characters
Write the soul scene of the novel – the one that grips the entire novel
Write the most interesting scene, don’t bother repeating it in the novel at a later stage
Start with a scene that would leave questions in the mind of your reader
Writing conflicting scenes – write a sequence and pick the next unexpected, to surprise your reader
What to write in the first chapter though!
The above pointers say about the first scene or rather a page, but what next?
Give utmost importance to editing and proofreading here, because, once your reader thinks this isn’t good – flunks!
Don’t give unnecessary detailing or description right in the first chapter – please!
Introduce the lead character, or the most interesting of the lot in the novel – either a character to empathize or someone utterly different from those we meet day to day for a change, or someone that your reader would like to know more about. Hint: Remind them their ex 😉
Reveal the theme of the novel – let the later chapters swirl around the first chapter
Ensure that you write your first chapter in such a way that without it, the reader would not understand the rest of the story
Write tight – chuck away the adjectives in the first few pages, don’t distract your reader – their mobile phones are already doing it
End the first chapter with a cliffhanger – write something that would tickle the curiosity to read more than the first few pages
Write short chapters with a cliff hanger and reveal the mystery further, not necessarily the next. Leave hints that sits somewhere in a corner of your reader’s mind, but never voices out unless you reveal it further while braiding it. Never ever leave a loose-ending. Ensure that your readers expect only the unexpected.
Have you read such books that hooked you and never left your hands? Comment the recent one! Let’s keep it rolling!