What makes a good book intro?

Candice: Have just returned from another one of my mini breaks, Phil says I get a lot of holidays but I just view them as a quick tan and life top up.  As Naomi Campbell once said, she has to take a holiday every six weeks to feel human. I think that was said while swiping a minion and telling them to keep kissing her feet, but I know the feeling.  So a girls break was required, three nights in Spain for sun and sangria, though there was more of the later than the former due to two days being cloudy.

Anyway, to the point of this rambling.  Two of the three people I went away with have ‘the book’ to read, one hadn’t seen it.  But she jumped in and grabbed a copy to see what it was all about.  24 hours later she put it down and went “finished”.  Obviously, I hadn’t tied her to a chair and told her to do this, there was sleep involved in this period.    Now for the feedback.

“I liked it, but I dont think the end reflects the start and the start’s abit weak.”  Ok, straight to the point there.

But its fair comment, because, when we started writing the book without any real timeline or action plan then we may have been thinking one way.  But as the story flowed and we came up with a stronger plot ideas, then it became more chicklit and less blot.  So, I started to think, does the start not work with the end, and then in general, what makes a good intro?

I’ve read a few books in my time and I like to think I know what hooks people in.  For example I’m reading a Dan Brown style book called Angelology at the moment.  Its caught me from day one as I am dying to know what happens.  I’ve found that alot with these style of books but they are often quick reads which mean  you can’t put them down, but they do leave you rather unsatisfied at the end.    Or you can go the other way. Has any one read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?  It’s the first book in what they call the Millennium Trilogy.  OMG the first 100 pages are hard work, you have no idea what is going on as there seem to be two totally separate stories going on.  Then, the protagonist moves to another place and it all falls into place.  From then on it’s a cracking read.  But patience is a virtue with those books.  I’ve read book 2 and have book 3 waiting in the wings for when I’ve finished the current read.

So Phil and I going to sit down next Monday and have another look at the intro and see if we can spot what my friend means.  I am hoping my other proof readers will have come back by then and have given me their feedback but even if they havent we need to get this right as we are now at the point of sending of the first three chapters to agents.  And if the first three chapters don’t wow them we might as well forget it!

Oh yes, and there will be cakes!

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1 Comment

Filed under Candice, Writing

One response to “What makes a good book intro?

  1. Try the French writer Fred Vargas (a lady) and her book The Three Evangelists ofr an odd read that draws you in. It’s not so much about the story as the characters which I found to be very satisfying.

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