Ever hear the saying “you’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression“? This age-old advice applies to just about anything – books included. So to hook the reader, the opening has to be attention-grabbing, and the momentum of interest should continue throughout the story.
In part two of Manuela Williams’ series From Slush Pile to Editor’s Desk, an editor’s perspective on building urgency is given.
While you can’t predict exactly what an editor will or will not like, there are a couple things you can do to ensure that your story has a fighting chance when you submit it to a literary magazine (and won’t cause anyone to scream and/or tear their hair out in frustration).
This is PART 2 of a multi-post series. For PART 1, click here.
Build Urgency From The Beginning
Lack of urgency is the number one reason why I turn down stories. The prose might be beautiful, but I can’t be sold on that alone. Your story needs to open with a bang and keep me hooked from sentence one.
If your story starts out with two characters discussing the weather, then I probably won’t read on (unless they’re talking about sharknados). Another pet peeve of mine: when a story starts off with a description of scenery. While this can…
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