Hook your reader – why opening lines are important

How do you start your stories? Do you hook the reader from the opening lines or leave them wondering why they should read on?

If you’ve ever picked up a book in a shop or library (you do use libraries, right?) and started reading the first few lines and then bought – or borrowed – the book because you want to know what happens, you’ll have seen the secret already. The author has set a scene that leaves you wanting to know more.

You need to give the reader a mystery, or a question, or a situation that they want to know more about. They either want the answer to the question, to see how the mystery is solved, or to know why you put them in that particular situation in the first place.

Compare the following two phrases and see which one ‘pulls’ you into the story and makes you want to know more.  Continue reading