What’s your Genre? Genre helps people who like the kind of stuff you write find your book. So . . . What’s your story’s genre? (If you’re not sure, give it a google or check out one of the books below.)
Now ask yourself: What kind of goodies are part of your genre? What are people reading it for? What kind of action or events do they want to see? What kind of reading experience do they want to have? What kind of emotion?
Got an idea of the goods?
Cool. Now . . . how might you write your story’s opening scene in order to give the reader a taste of the genre? In order to say, “You’ve come to the right place, dear reader, because, as you can see, my story’s got the goods!”?
Need help? Brainstorm a list of your genre’s goods. Then brainstorm a list of how your story–its concept, plot, and characters–fulfills those goods. Then brainstorm another list of ways you could give a taste of those goods in the first five pages.
Just a taste?
That’s my preference as a reader, but if you want to put in more than a taste, go ahead. Just make sure you leave room for your story to escalate. I remember reading a ghost story, I think it was, and the opening scene was a prologue that showed the whole of the ghost and the whole of its modus operandi. In detail. It was like seeing all 20-or-however-many feet of Jaws, mouth wide, with time to count his every bloody tooth, in the opening beach scene. Too much too soon. All the goodies were completely fulfilled–leaving no need to read further. (And I didn’t. Doing so was anticlimactic. I skimmed the rest, just to be sure, and it was all boring compared to the genre-filled opening, which, unfortunately for the story, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate because I didn’t have any context–didn’t care, didn’t know the stakes, etc.)
So, you do what you want, but chances are all your opening needs is a fin. (And some ominous music (mood/tone, tension, dramatic questions) . . . and a struggling victim (conflict) . . . and . . . =D)
Anyhoo . . . Genre: Good stuff. Make sure the reader knows your book’s gonna satisfy by giving them a taste of the good stuff in the first five pages. Closer to page 1 is even better.
Write the scene. And enjoy! Genre’s the fun part.
Book that Inspired This Post plus Some Genre Books
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That’s it for me!
How about you? How do you like to coax a reader into turning the page? Tell us in the comments!
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