The Beginning is the Most Important

April 7, 2013 at 8:02 am

It can be tricky to write the beginning of a novel. That ideal starting point can be elusive, especially when you’re trying to grab the reader’s attention immediately, while introducing them to your world and everyone in it. It can be difficult to find that spot that engages the reader’s interest while establishing your story.

One of the best opening scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie is the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It is instantly engaging, beginning in the middle of one of Indiana Jones’ adventures. The story, at that point, has nothing to do with the overall plot, but it introduces the audience to its style and pace, which is a break-neck one. I think this can be a useful way of engaging an audience, especially if your plot is one of those that takes a while to develop. Engage them with a bit of, not necessarily unrelated, but additional action to draw them in, and they will become intrigued. Most readers will stay with you through thick and thin if you engage them at the outset.