We need to have good openings to get the publisher's attention.
We call them hooks.
With the first line, the first paragraph and the first page of our manuscript we need to hook the reader (and publisher) so he wants to turn the page and continue reading.
There are many ways to do this.
We can hook the reader by using action verbs and creating an immediate conflict.
We can open our story with an intriguing setting.
We can open with violence or danger.
We can open with mystery.
What do you like to open with?
Our readers want to be entertained. If we do not grab their attention early on in the story, they will put our book down. We don't want to gradually sneak up on the story. We need to start with action.
In my first draft of my MG manuscript, with the suggestion of my critique group, I skipped past the first chapters and started my story at chapter three. I later worked in information from those first chapters. It made for a much better story. I did not lead up to the action, my story now started with action and a little mystery!
I did not know this when I first started writing, but my experienced critique partners noticed it immediately.
In fact, I admit that I did not know much of anything about writing when I first started. But, with perseverance, practice and a very helpful writing group I have grown as a writer.
If I keep it up, maybe some day I will have one of my stories published.
What or who has helped you grow as a writer?