The first sentence of your story can be the most important you ever write. It may not be the most profound, the most interesting, or the most eloquent – but that really doesn’t matter. It starts the first paragraph, which starts the first page of the first chapter. It’s the first of a series of barriers you have to cross to truly draw someone in. Though rarely enough to chase someone away, it starts something that will carry you through to the end.
And you probably just winged it.
The reason these things are so important is that it does more than simply start off your story. I’ve already talked about beginnings being a pain in the ass, but the earlier in the story you are, the less there is of the story to give context and substance. As such, that first sentence, the first paragraph, and the first page are essentially you pitching the rest of the story to the reader. Even in visual formats like comics and films, the first shots are going to tell the viewer whether they want to even sit through any of it. And that means, despite the fact it’s generally one of the hardest sections to write for some people, it’s also one of the few sections that matters on its own.
No pressure, right? Continue reading A Strong Hook