Thursday, 16 February 2012

Amazing Writing Advice #9: Beginnings

The beginning of your book is the second most important thing when trying to get published. The first thing is obviously having a lovely author photo. Actually, having a profile on Bebo is also really important; Practising your signature for all those signing you'll soon be doing; Having the right author's hat too; Learning as many languages as possible so that you can do your own translations.

So the beginning of your book is the sixth most important thing when trying to publish your book. It's really important to grab your reader straight away. There are a lot of views on how to do this and they are all rubbish. Here's the golden truth the professionals don't want you to know.

You must start your book with a thorough explanation of the world and history of the main character. Before even a slither of dialogue or action plunge them bodily into the world, its history and peoples mannerisms. Do the people of Burkistan all hop on the 8th day of the month? Tell your reader why. Immediately. Maybe even call the book The Hoppers of Burkistan just so they know what's coming.
Me in
one of my author's hats

Character introduction is best done via a family tree, if it's one that needs to be folded in the front of the book or come a separate book, all the better. Then a long description of what they look like while standing still, walking and sleeping. Then you're reader will know exactly what they look like at any moment in the book. You just have to make sure they are always walking, standing or sleeping.

This method guarantees instant agent interest.

The hopping helps too,

Mark