on Fiction University:
Do you really need to hook a reader on the first page?
I read a lot of first pages. Between the Saturday critique submissions, clients, friends, and other random critiques I do, I’ve read the first pages of hundreds and hundreds of works-in-progress. Add in the first pages from published novels and it skyrockets into the thousands.
This past Saturday, I had a submission that sparked an interesting thought—does the first page need to hook if the novel’s premise hooks?
And that’s a really loaded question.
I also think it’s compounded by e-readers, because it used to be you had cover copy, and knew what the book was about before you started it. These days, you don’t always get the cover copy before you start reading. Usually the first time you open the book, a window pops up with the blurb and information, but after that, it goes right to the text (at least this has been my experience—your e-reader may vary).