Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Them Go
by Les Edgerton
Edgerton had me hooked on his book before page one. His dedication page reads: “to all the writers who didn’t give up, no matter how long the odds or how fierce the struggle or how much the naysayers scoffed at their labor…” How can you not love the guy? He understands our frustration when an editor or agent stops reading a potentially great story after only a few sentences or paragraphs.
And he wants to help us fix that problem.
First and foremost, he says, don’t start writing until you know what your protagonist’s story-worthy problem is—not his surface problems—the story-worthy problem. It “is always a deeper psychological problem [and] it won’t be completely understood by your protagonist or your reader until the end of the story.”
From that starting point, Edgerton explains how to build a great opening that can’t help but hook the reader.
I have sticky notes dangling every which way out of my copy of his book. He’d mention something that sparked an idea and I’d jot it down.
His humorous style coupled with excellent examples will inspire you to give your opening scene the attention it needs if you want to be published. He writes like a coach urging you to make your story stronger, revisiting and expanding on key points to ensure you master them.
I highly recommend this book. It has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf.