Been reading a lot of different authors lately. Mostly ones in the same genres I write. I've been seriously looking at how other writes start a book. Been looking at this for a reason.
I think the most critical part of the book is the first three pages. That's when the reader makes the decision. The first three pages. That decision to go on and read the book. Or close it and fume over the thought of spending good money for something that doesn't interest you at all.
Maybe I'm too generous. Three pages may be too long for the reader to wait around before making their decision. Maybe all they need is one page. Just one.
That's been my theory from the get-go. Capture the reader's attention immediately. And never, ever, let go. So I hem and haw around about the opening pages, and the first chapter, of a book more than anything else. I need a se-up, or an arresting image, or a profound thought, to create that glue which cements the reader to the page.
But . . . . maybe I'm wrong. Maybe writers who have been far more successful than me know
something I don't. So I've been scanning/reading a lot of different authors. Seeing how they do it.
The reason I bring this up is because I'm asking for your help. I want you to critic the opening chapter of book four of the Turner Hahn/Frank Morales series. The fourth book in the series is going to be called 'Two Deadly Affairs.' Since you know who (if you've been keeping track of this blog) Turner Hahn and Frank Morales are, then you know that there's going to be a murder scene involved. I think I've written a humdinger of one and I want to share it.
And I want you to tell me what you think. Where is its strength? Its weaknesses. Is it believable? Too extreme? Too vague? You tell me. Am I wrong in my assessment concerning how to start a book? If so, what aspect of the novel is more important to you?
I want to succeed in this racket. I want to find readers who thoroughly enjoy what I write. And I want to hear feedback from you. So don't be shy, kiddos. Here's your chance to throw that big brick you've been waiting for. Don't hesitate. Smack me between the eyes with your thoughts.
And I hope you enjoy the first chapter. (I know I've shared this once before; but I've worked on it some since then. So read it again and tell me what you think.)
Ah, the bedroom.