Today, I’m posting over on AuthorCulture, with the post “Hook Readers With an Opening Question.” Here’s an excerpt:
Writers are told time and again to start their first chapter with a bang. Open in the middle of a murder, a high-speed car chase, or heist-in-progress, and readers will be instantly hooked, right? How is it, then, that Margaret Atwood dares open her hefty contemporary novel The Robber Bride‘s first chapter with a main character’s morning routine: waking up, getting dressed, taking out the garbage, making breakfast. This chapter is hardly the stuff of tabloid headlines. In fact, this is exactly what young writers are told not to do. At first glance, it might seem that Atwood only gets away with this because she’s the Canadian grande dame of fiction, with a dozen bestsellers already under her belt. But that’s not true at all.