How you can begin your novel.

Sometimes actually figuring out the beginning of your novel can be the hardest thing. You want a reader to be hooked as soon as possible and know that so much can play on those first few pages. But what are your options? What are the different ways you can start that will encourage a reader to keep reading?


1. With a question that needs answering.
If creating intrigue and mystery is your aim, why not start at the very beginning. Give your reader a question/questions that just begs to be answered, and give it to them ASAP. The need for answers will give your audience that push to keep reading.

2. Explaining the where and when.
Envelop your reader into the world of your novel immediately by jumping into where your novel takes place, and when. Give them visualisations, let their imagination run riot. This will encourage the pages to turn.

3. With dialogue.
Instead of a beginning where you carefully set the scene, you could start right in the middle of a conversation. This can be trickier to pull off effectively, but if you do, it could be a great start to your novel. This article goes into more depth.

4. Right in the middle of action.
Depending on the genre of your novel, jumping straight into an action-packed scene could pack a punch to your beginning. Your audience could be immediately engaged. Action doesn’t have to be all guns blazing, it could be the adrenaline rush of a plane taking off or the thrill of finding money on the roadside. Whatever fits your novel best. The most important thing is that it’s engaging.

5. A strong character introduction.
Your protagonist is most likely the one that your novel revolves around, so why not do them justice by placing their intro at the very beginning. Let your audience get acquainted with them straight away, but ensure the introduction is strong and impacting, sharing the character in a light that makes a reader want to know more.

Those are just five ways you could begin your novel. I’m sure there are many more! The most important thing though is that you feel happy and inspired by what you’ve written. Also, you don’t necessarily have to write your beginning – at the beginning. Maybe the ideal beginning will come to you as you reach the end.

Published by Amy Ollerton

Hi! I'm Amy—a professional copy editor and proofreader living in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. I provide friendly, personalised services that boost writing while retaining the author's unique style and voice. I write a little myself, shown through my blog. Alongside my work, I read books, enjoy baking, and explore the Highlands with my partner and my dog, Lula. If you've ever any editing queries, feel free to get in touch!

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