How To Snare a Reader

“The Earth trembled beneath him as if rattling its final breath.”

That is the opening to my novel. There must be some secret to catching readers, but I doubt my ability. Each phrase must be crafted with the utmost care; each sentence must be flawless.

Do these words create a sense of urgency? Do they make you wonder what is happening? To whom?

Fellow writer, would you read this book or set it back upon the shelf?

I leave my words here, vulnerable to your venerable opinion.


9 thoughts on “How To Snare a Reader

  1. With all the politeness I can muster, I would put this back on the shelf. I’m more interested in the earth trembling than the guy on top, and it is only a tremble, and it seems to be abating. So, I am done with my question/answer. Is this man in danger? Not directly. Is this man currently a victim? Yes. This man isn’t interesting. (I went WAY too far into it, but it’s the overall, abstract feeling) IMO

    At the same time, my opening sentence is “Death is a door I used to find beautiful.” It’s not so great, either. Obscure, vague, indirect.

    • Thank you for your opinion! I appreciate your honesty and find it extremely constructive. Right now I am attempting to edit my very rough draft any kind of feedback is great because my manuscript is lacking.
      Also, I actually like your opening line; it is mysterious.

  2. Thank you for your vulnerability. It makes me like you for being so open and so human. 🙂
    That being said, the answer to your initial question is yes. I’d like to know the rest of the story 🙂

  3. It’s a good line.

    For me, it’s not an intriguing opening that’s the problem, but in following up the awesome sentence with a story worthy of it.

    There’s a member of my writing group that admits she’ll likely never finish writing her novel, not because she can’t — her storytelling is excellent — but that she loses interest, or doesn’t think what she’s writing now lives up to what she wrote before.

    I admit it’s difficult to keep the momentum, to see a story through to the end. However, if I make a promise to readers with a captivating opening line/paragraph, I want to do my best to fulfill it.

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