How To Grab Your Reader By The Throat....

Friday, January 20, 2012
Happy Friday readers!

I hope everyone has had an amazing week!

Today's post is about pulling in your readers from page one.

Some writer's struggle with an engaging first chapter. I know I am one of them. A lot of times when I'm writing I have to back in and change things at a later time because sometimes our characters don't always speak to us when we want them to. I don't know if that's true for you guys, but it definitely is for me.

Even when I'm reading subs or queries I want to be whisked away from the first page and a lot of times that doesn't happen. Your job as a writer is to dazzle your audience with your story-telling skills and grab them by the throat.

Now I will say that there are some of my books that aren't as good as others, but the important thing is that I learn from every book I write. And I think that most writers do as well. But here are a few helpful tips on how to engage the audience from page 1.

1. Always have something going on. Even if it's minor. Even if it's just your MC brushing their teeth.

2. Put feeling into your characters. It's like a doctor who asks how you feel about something. Ask yourself the same question. How would my character feel about this? Novels are not all about descriptions, grammar, and world-building. Feelings have a lot to do with the way your reader relates to the characters and how are we supposed to like them and relate to them if we can't feel what they are feeling.

3. Bring on the tension.

4. Don't rush it. God, there have been so many times where I've felt like I've rushed things in my books and I wish I could back and change things. Pacing in a novel is very important, so take it from me and learn from some of my mistakes lol.

5. Don't be afraid to cut things. I know. I know. We're all soooo attached to our characters. We love them. We feel them. But...Sometimes we have to cut out some of their scenes. Some things drag your novel down and slow down the pacing and you have to be willing to cut some areas to make things work. I know it sucks, but sometimes it has to be done.

Now hopefully you've found some of these tips helpful.

Have a great weekend everybody!



  1. Yes, I agree that readers need to feel the characters in their hearts, not just in their heads. And writing is all about bringing out the drama through compressing and sharpening in the revise. Good tips.

  1. Great tips, Lauren! Write on! :D

  1. These are really great tips, Lauren. Grabbing your reader from page one--even paragraph one--is so important. I preview every book before I buy, and I know from the very first page if it's for me or not.

  1. These are all fabulous points. My biggest issue is what to include in those opening chapters. I seem to have too much backstory or not enough. Need to find that happy medium.

    Have a great weekend!

  1. openings have got to be the hardest part of any story for me. what's going to be that magical first line that hooks the reader? and why does it sound better in my head than on paper? thanks for sharing the tips!

  1. My openings either just happen, or it's the part of my book that makes me INSANE!

  1. Jade Hart said...:

    Glad I found your blog. I stalked you from Jolene's by the way : )

    I'm a new follower and look forward to your future posts.
    And I totally agree about grabbing the reader. I'm actually one of the lucky ones, somehow I got my first chapter right on my current WIP - well, according to my CP's. It's the middle of the book I'm struggling with! :)


Post a Comment