How to Start Your Novel

The first five pages are the most important. Your first five pages should show readers the main character…and hopefully focus only on that individual, or focus on that individual and his or her relationship with one other primary character.

Your first five pages should hint at the conflict that will play out over the course of the manuscript.

There should be some compelling reason for readers to continue…and for agents and acquisitions editors at publishing houses to keep reading, too. This could be interest in the protagonist, a compelling conflict, or suspense.

Every category is different and your work will be unique from all others. By ensuring your first five pages have at least these three elements, you’re much more likely to capture attention…and keep people reading.

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