Starting Off Dead

The easiest way to get me to buy a book is for the first few sentences to blow me away, or for the premise to be amazing, or for your name to be J.K. Rowling or Neal Shusterman.

So, to this end, when I’m not already a fan of the author and the premise isn’t an immediate hook, I have a little test I will do, which while not at all fair, is fun and a learning opportunity.  And the test is this: if I read the first sentence, or the first page, and my eyes don’t bounce off once, then it goes on the to-buy list.

Again, super unfair. But it is an interesting exercise. And, by doing this sort of test a lot, I’ve noticed a few reoccurring methods of structuring the beginning sentence from book to book. Continue reading