on Fiction University:
Losing readers in the opening scene is a problem many novels face.
Opening scenes lead really stressful lives (metaphorically speaking). They have to hook readers, offer a compelling problem, introduce characters, show voice, and establish the world and setting by the end of the scene. No pressure, right?
I’ve been doing weekly critiques on this site since 2010, and the most common submission I get is the first page. So I’ve seen a lot of openings in a variety of genres and markets. And there’s one mistake I see writers make over and over.
Not grounding readers in the story world.