As an aspiring or seasoned author, you understand the need of that initial spark that both draws readers into your work and helps you keep going. How to create that one line, that paragraph, that narrative that ignites the inspiration in you to craft something amazing and keep your readers hooked at the same time with a tempting enough glimpse of what happens ahead — we’ve got you covered.
These eight simple, yet effective steps might just be what you’ve been looking for 😉
1. Kick Off With An Engaging Hook
You want your readers to keep going. You want to keep writing. How do you go about this? To inspire both yourself and your reader? Be dynamic with your hooks. An intriguing question. A tempting line. A single word that appeals. Grab their attention on the very first sentence, and you’ll find that writing the next line won’t be as hard.
2. Set The Scene
Every word and description matters in bringing the setting to life. Describe the place where the scene takes place; a house, a town, a school, etc, and relate it to the character’s life. Explain why that place or thing is important to them while using sensory details.
Here’s a short example coiled from the book by Goddy Francis, Taming Mr. Black; “There is one thing I don’t appreciate as a server in Club K, and that is the uniform. How could someone make waitresses who serve alcohol to men wear short flare skirts?”
3. Create Suspense or Tension
Introduce conflicts earlier on to keep readers engaged. Start where the action or conflict is. It grabs their attention and wants to make them know more. Make the tension palpable from whichever point you wish to begin from and let it flow out naturally from there.
4. Foreshadow Future Events
“I should have stayed home. Perhaps, if I had, I would never have met him.” Hint at upcoming plot twists or developments to keep readers invested in the story’s progression. Begin like that and they will yearn to see what happened, why the character said that.
5. Use Dialogues Effectively
This is another way to give a chapter a gripping opening. For example, if you begin a chapter with the hook, “I will never be yours,” you drop the reader right into an argument, a confrontation or a conversation that they will want to see through to the end.
6. Transition through a different point of view
If in the previous chapters of your book, you have established a consistent or constant point of view, a fresh narrative, a fresh voice is a new way of catching their attention and keeping your readers on the edge of their seats, wondering what will happen next. As an author who might be experiencing writer’s block, this is also a good way to get started on that chapter you have no idea how to begin.
7. Try Introducing A Character That Is Essential To The Plot
Ranging from a main character (female or male lead) to the antagonist, a new character catches the readers off guard and pushes them to want to find out more.
8. Show, Don’t Tell
This is the final step in this guide, and the most important. How you paint the picture matters. Use whatever languages you can, words, description, to pull them into the world you are trying to create at the start. Help them feel what the characters feel and see what the characters see. It’ll immerse them deeper into the narrative you have made.
In conclusion, treat each chapter with the same importance as you would an entire story. Remember that the first line or paragraph serves as a window into the rest of what the chapter might entail. Drafting out chapter outlines if you must, incorporating into them the aforementioned elements and see how much it helps.
Happy writing! ❤️