Heroes Shouldn’t Look In The Mirror Unless They’re An Evil Queen
How To Hook Your Readers In The First Page Of Your Book
By Julie Butcher-Fedynich
Over the course of many years, I’ve read thousands of manuscripts. There’s a curious symmetry writers have in their first few books. Either they wake up, they dream, they look in a freaking mirror and describe their luxurious, wavy hair, or they tell us everything that happened in their life up to this point.
For some reason, newer writers think that we, the reader, must know what the main character looks like in the first few paragraphs. Immediately, they give us a driver’s license version; height, weight, hair and eye color. I don’t know about you guys, but I seriously don’t like someone in love with their own hair. Writers, this isn’t bad information to have. You need to know if your character has white hair that shines in the moonlight and will give away his position to the enemy. We don’t, at least not until the bullet parts his curly locks.
What we need to know in the first few paragraphs are the same things that your teachers insisted you have in science papers and book reports, the four W’s: Who-Where-When-Why. The entire book is the How but it doesn’t hurt to give a hint of that at the beginning either.