Sunday, July 1, 2012


by Molly Noble Bull 


For me to buy a novel, something interesting or exciting must happen in sentence one--something that catches my interest. If it doesn't happen, I don't buy the book. And I am not alone in this. Many good books on fiction writing say more or less the same thing.
When I go in a bookstore, I read the first sentence of a novel. If it catches my interest, I read the first paragraph. If I am still interested after I have read the first paragraph, I read the entire first page. If I am still interested after I have read the first page, I buy the book, and I make no exceptions.
I'm serious. I really do this when I go in a bookstore. Maybe you need to go in a bookstore and do the same thing.
The back-cover can be misleading. Back-covers can tell what the book is about but nothing about the actual writing. I decide what books interest me and which don't by reading only the first page. 
I remember reading a book on fiction writing when I first started writing to sell, and they had a section on the opening hook. Here is an example they gave of an excellent opening hook. I really like it and think you will like it, too. Here it is. 
* He knew he was going to have a bad day when a man standing on the bridge simply leaned forward and jumped in.*
Can't you just picture that? Doesn't it make you want to read more in order to find out if the man lived or died? He, the guy, was a cop, and we probably learn his name and his profession in sentence two. But more important, we want to read more.
I hope this makes sense to you.  
One last thing before I let you go. 
Try to mention as many of the five senses on every page of you novel as possible. 
A chill ran down her spine. (feeling) 
Her long, wavy hair matched her rust colored dress. (sight) 
The entire room smelled like rotten eggs. (smell) 
The smooth, (texture) sweet taste of chocolate ice cream filled her mouth. (taste)
Church bells chimed in the distance. (hearing)
I hope all this helps.
I also hope you will buy my non-fiction book, if you haven't already.

The Overcomers; Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities is available in paperback and as an e-book. Write Molly Noble Bull in the search slot at online and walk-in bookstores.

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