You don’t have much time to grab a reader’s attention. But if they like your cover and blurb enough, they might just make it to the first page to see if they like your writing. All of which means, you’ve got to make your first page sing like no other. You’ve got one chance. Ready to find out how to draw your reader in?
Here’s what your opening chapter needs to do:
-Introduce your lead character. This is who the book’s about. Yes, even in romance, the book is about one lead in particular.
-Immerse your reader in the lead’s life. Describe the setting. Make the reader have to keep reading.
-Show your lead dealing with an issue: drop your reader straight into a dilemma. There should be dialogue and action to make the scene dynamic.
-If you’re writing a romance, the two leads should ideally meet in chapter one.
Things to avoid? Don’t dump a ton of back story into the first chapter – that’s a rookie error. Don’t start with the character looking in a mirror, either.
What you want is to introduce your lead, show the issues they’re having, show their world, tempt the reader in. If they like it, they’ll keep reading and get hooked. Then you’ve got a sale, and hopefully, a fan.