What makes a reader turn the page? Think about a very good book you’ve read recently, what made you continue reading? Some books have become classics because of the first page of the book. Every good book starts with something that draws you in. Something that makes you want to turn the page.
If you are a writer or a reader look at the first page of the book you’re either writing or reading. What does the first paragraph tell you? Does it make you want to read more? It should. A first page should draw you into the book. It should make you want to read more. It should identify the character, and if it’s a romance, the first chapter should introduce the love interest.
A friend of mine always said to make the first chapter exciting. Action is the best way to do that. You don’t have to tell the day or the weather conditions. Tell what will make the reader want to read more. Tell me something that will make me want to read more. Make it exciting. Don’t tell me all the backstory. Tell me what is happening now, in the present. There are a few instances where prologues are needed. If you know me very well, you’ll know I’m not a big fan of prologues. There are some instances where it is needed.
Another way to keep a reader interested is to have a hook at the end of each chapter. This makes a reader not want to put the book down. Writing is not sitting down and jotting down words. It took me some time to realize that, but now that I do, my books are becoming better.
When I look at a proposal I look for something that will draw me in, hooks at the end of the chapters, and good writing. This will improve your writing more than anything. Watch what you write, and you’ll have a better book. Make your book come alive. The reader will thank you.