Once you’ve hooked the reader, your next task is to put your
early chapters to work introducing your characters, settings, and stakes. The
first 20-25% of the book comprises your setup. At first glance, this can seem
like a tremendous chunk of story to devote to introductions, but if you expect
readers to stick with you throughout the story, you first have to give them a
reason to care. And this important stretch of the story is where you accomplish
just that. Mere curiosity can only carry a reader so far. Once you’ve hooked
that sense of curiosity, you then have to deepen the pull by creating an
emotional connection between your readers and your characters.
Tell me your opinion: Do you take the time to introduce your characters, settings, and stakes in your first act?
Related Posts: The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 1: Why Should Authors Care?
The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 2: The Hook
Why You Should Spend More Time on Character Than Action
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Story by K.M. Weiland