Your first page is boring—here’s how to fix it

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 | 0 comments

I won’t link to it, but I just read a blog post out on the interwebs about writing your novel’s first page. The advice was the standard stuff, so I won’t repeat it here.

But it was the comment section that made me roll my eyes. A few folks shared what their first page was about, and not to judge, but one person said that their story started with their young protagonist dreaming of an adventure to escape their boring life.


To me, this author has just described every lame first page ever. Sure, your protag is relatable. Who hasn’t been a bored teenager dreaming of excitement? The problem is I don’t care. Other readers don’t care. Because now, on this first page, you have to set up why his life is boring, and we don’t want to read that. We’ve LIVED that.

So how about this? Throw the protag into the middle of the action! Backtrack as he lays out the current scenario:

Hanging over the bubbling volcano, I remembered that I still have that term paper due tomorrow…

As the sword blade cut a chunk of hair off Donna’s head, she realized this was way scarier than spilling all her feelings to her crush back home.

Hint at the ho-hum elements of the protag’s previous life, but show us what’s exciting now and why we should care NOW.

Your first pages will be better for it.

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