Useful Tips

How to start a book


Good day!

I wrote the Prologue to the book on the tips read in the editorial (the article itself below, I highly recommend reading it), and I ask you to tell me whether I managed to captivate the reader or not? (I listened to the advice of seasoned ones. I wrote a second version, I hope it got better)

Location: dilapidated, abandoned building.Time: a month after the main events. .

Legs cramp from long standing in an absurd pose. The heart of that and look will jump out. I try not to even breathe. The situation in which I ended up leaves me no choice. A man, with the neck of a broken bottle clasped in his hand, walks around me in a circle. Nervously swallow, watching him with a haunted look.

- Do not twitch! He barks.

I trust him with my life, and submit. It’s as if in slow motion I’m watching how he brings his weapons for the first strike. A green blade crashes into a stone crumbling floor: a blow, another, and another blow. Intense silence is torn by the clink of glass, echoing from the dilapidated walls of an abandoned building. Through a gritted teeth grinding a long sob. I close my eyes tight in an attempt to calm down.

He is in a hurry, but the movements are precise and accurate. Who, if not him, knows: one wrong move - and there will be a corpse. Two corpses.

“The anti-personnel ... German ... push ... managed ...” - the man interleaves the words with heavy breaths, each time drawing in noisy air. Quietly swearing, digging with a fragment of a bottle the earth under a mine, the very one on which I now stand.

After a minute, which seemed like an eternity, he stops, wiping the cold sweat from his forehead with the sleeve of his dusty jacket. She looks from the bottom up, shaking her head in condemnation. The probability of my salvation is negligible. This mine has been lying for seventy years since the war, waiting for me. The roof of this building may have preserved the shell of the shell, but it is not known what condition it is now in, and the slightest movement can provoke an explosion.

I look forward to hearing from you: In general, it will come down, carried away! / Still bad - rewrite!


Here are excerpts from the article that prompted me to write. But I highly recommend reading the article itself. Very instructive!

1. The abundance of adjectives and compound sentences is a sign of great intelligence and literary talent - a myth.

2. You have only three paragraphs to intrigue the editor (and reader). You do not have the right to "fool" this only opportunity.

3. There are laws of the genre, and school boredom in science fiction disturbs no less than “syusi-pusi” in a political detective story.

4. Facing a choice: to speak beautifully or interestingly - always give preference to the second.

5. Purpose, meaning - two things to keep in mind. Any paragraph, any description, any scene should fulfill its function! Ask yourself: should this particular interior express what? Impact - how? Set the mood - what? Foretell - what? And further - and this is the most important thing - following the answer to this question, create the very text that, in your opinion, will most successfully cope with the task.

6. Fight adjectives. Destroy and cut. Use them like a hydrogen bomb: neatly, professionally and when absolutely necessary. Fifty percent of adjectives are superfluous. The remaining fifty can make your manuscript a “masterpiece”, but only on one condition: you feel the potential of most of them, you can play it and reveal it.

7. Do not get carried away by “music that sounds in your head.” There is no need to shove a word into a sentence so that in the end it falls on a beautiful melody. Write first meaningfully, and only then - find the rhythm under these words. Which, by the way, also makes sense. And hits the target.

If someone is interested in my work, you are welcome to visit:

What should be the beginning of the book

It’s good when the beginning:

  • dynamic, that is, no “sheets” of descriptions on three sheets, and it is better to start with dialogs. Or from the movement - for example, the hero goes to visit his grandmother and enjoys great music, at the same time considering a recent love affair,
  • easy: do not “load” readers with the question “to be or not to be” or a hero’s problem. The problem may appear in the chapter of the second or third, but not in the first and not in the prologue. And one problem in several chapters, and not one chapter - one problem,
  • to the best of mysterious and foggy: there will be a slight hint of the secret of the hero or his trip to his grandmother (why did he suddenly break loose, leaving his girlfriend, what happened?). But it is important not to go too far with the “fog”, along with the riddle, tossing up answers as well, so that the reader will think and “catch on”.

And the beginning should not be torn off from the middle: all the scenes of the first chapters are links of one long chain leading to an increase in intrigue and conflict, to the development of an idea.

A common mistake of the first chapters is that they are considered “painted,” training — to get a hand, “see” a hero, feel the world. And they are written anyhow, "that was." And when in the fifth chapter the hero is strewed on the head with problems for which there are no prerequisites, when he "suddenly" plunges into trouble for which there is no reason, the reader falls into a stupor of bewilderment. Where did that come from?

Hence the conclusion: for everything else, the beginning should be logical. And if you are going to compose on the go, if you have not yet come up with problems and troubles for the heroes, then do not be too lazy to find reasons for them, return to the beginning and supplement it with premises - logical and significant.

So, if a gang of bikers suddenly attacks our "approximate" hero in a roadside cafe, it is logical to assume that he offended one of them on the road - overtook, showing an indecent gesture, quarreled in a queue at a gas station and called badly, etc.

The first chapters are an exposition: the world is outlined, and figures are placed on a chessboard. And in the first chapters it is desirable to show all the main characters - both heroes and characters. And even the main villain. The reader should not be surprised at where it comes from, but at how cleverly you disguised your enemies as friends and vice versa, how inconspicuous and unpredictable the main villain was.