* Contest at end! * How important is your first paragraph? Extremely important. You only have a few seconds to grab a potential reader’s attention, so hook them instantly!
We have literally thousands of books screaming for our attention. Which new books will readers buy? I’ll tell you.
Since we can read the first pages of a book on Amazon (or other places), first impressions are critical! I have excitedly looked up many books that others raved about. If the first paragraph was dull, the second was dull, the first page was dull—I just moved on. Maybe somewhere in the book it turned amazing and intriguing, but I wasn’t going to spend my time slogging through to find the interesting part.
As a writer you want to grab your readers from the first sentence, the first paragraph, the first page—keep them eagerly reading—until they are forced to stop and buy your book to read the rest. 🙂
Here’s an example of a great first paragraph that hooked me:
“Charity killed her husband. She knew it the minute the pistol fired. She knew it the minute he froze and his eyes widened in horror. His grip on the barrel of the gun remained strong as he stared at her, the life spilling from those eyes like water from a glass tipped over. She trembled and sought her breath, but only gun smoke filled her lungs. She couldn’t cough … couldn’t move. And still he stood there, frozen in time, as if unwilling to accept his fate.”
“Jerking the pistol from his grip, she—” (Wait! That’s paragraph two. I’m already caught up in the story!) That’s how the book Charity’s Cross by MaryLu Tyndall starts. I HAD to keep reading, and it was captivating to the very end!
Savvy Writer Tip:
In the deluge of thousands of books potential readers have to wade through today, you’ve got to hook them with your first paragraph—your first page. Don’t let them go until they buy your book. First impressions count. You only have a few seconds, so make your first paragraph and what follows utterly spellbinding! 🙂
CONTEST: win a free eBook copy of Charity’s Cross! Post a comment and let me know your thoughts. Do the first paragraphs/pages of a story (if you don’t know the author) influence your decision to buy the book? Remember to include your email address! I’ll chose a winner by Saturday 8/20 and contact you by Sunday, 8/21.