The First Three Paragraphs Of Your Novel
Writing a novel? Your first three paragraphs can be the most important block of words you write, as they will determine how the reader takes to the rest of your work. Try to make sure they do all these things effectively:
- Engage the senses. Appeal to your reader’s senses using visceral descriptions that makes them see, hear, taste and feel various elements in your scene. Doing so helps put the reader in your fictional universe, making it all the more interesting for them to explore.
- Pack it with action. The more dynamic the action in your first three paragraphs are, the more it will be able to engage the reader in your story. As such, it’s usually a smart idea to start at a middle point where the action begins to thicken, rather than an actual “once upon a time” beginning.
- Hint at the conflict. Drop some clues about the impending conflict in the story — just enough to give readers an incentive to read further. People simply like knowing how a story will proceed and a small clue that hints at that can go a long way.
- Establish the rules. You set the tone, narrative style, time frame and other context details in the first three paragraphs. Putting up the boundaries help the reader make a mental map of how far the story and the characters in it can go.