Three ways NOT to start your book
The beginning of your story is, in a way, one of the most important and vital parts of the entire book. Even the first word alone can decide whether your readers will want to keep reading, or won’t. It is important to create a good hook that helps to start the general flow of the plot line to draw the reader into the story, and I know it can be hard. So, here are some DON’TS to starting your story.
1. Alarm clocks!
I know it feels easy to start off a story with your character waking up to the sound of an alarm clock, but this is NOT the way to start off a story that you want to be popular.
Have you ever heard of the term “Déjà vu”? Well, that’s exactly what I feel, and I’m sure some of you feel when you see this type of beginning. So. Many. Stories. Begin. With. This! The whole point of the beginning is to hook in your reader, and one way to catch their attention is by making your story, as well as the beginning, UNIQUE!
Unique= Not like the rest!
Some of you may be surprised at this one, I know if I were younger than I am today, I would be, too. Because, I used to use prologues ALL THE TIME. But, prologues can be, a lot of times, annoying, and useless. If you really think about it, you don’t need prologues in your book, because prologues are just backstories that lead up to chapter one. And readers know this, so, most of the time, they’ll either skip it or read it without their full attention, therefore boring them and making them less optimistic about your story.
Some of you may be saying "But what if I need a way to explain my story at the beginning?". Personally, I love when a book starts out when the reader has no idea what is going on. It makes me want to keep reading to find out, therefore catching my attention. Leave the explaining to a later time in the beginning section of your story!
Please don’t open a story with a dream. Sure, the action of a dream can hook a reader, but after revealing that it was only a dream, it can disappoint the reader, as well as frustrate a reader. Especially when, after the action of the dream, the story is slow and boring, with the main character getting out of bed and going to school, or getting ready for work, etc. When this happens, I am mentally hurling your book across the room and at the wall.
Although, there is an exception to the “no-dream” rule as long as, after the dream, you continue the story at almost the same level of thrill and action, but, I have found this hard to do. My advice, just don’t start your story with a dream in the first place.
Hope this helped you fix your story starting habits! I know I didn’t mention a few, such as opening with dialogue, weather, etc. but these are the main three DON’TS to starting your story. Thanks for reading! :)