When I started the second book (which is actually in editing right now) I had to really give it some thought. Did I research anything about trilogies or the second book after the first is done? No. Why not? Okay, cause I’m just thinking of that right now.
At the end of the first book there’s a hook to draw the reader into wanting to know where the story is headed. It made sense to do that, however the hook does not end with my hero, but rather on the villain. I didn’t want to have Chapter 1 be about the bad guy and I knew that the first opening to any book needed to draw the reader into the story. I examined a chapter or two I had removed during the first re-write of book 1 to see if any of those would work. They didn’t fit right. I wanted to start with something jarring or at least alarming enough for the reader to want to find out what was taking place.
I returned to a small booklet, written by Aaron D. Gansky about first line hooks. In this book he talks about writing a perfect first line. This could also be a whole paragraph, but it sets the tone and often determines if someone is going to read your book.
Gansky refers to five things from Professor Steve Heller, that an opening line should do:
1. Capture the Reader’s attention without sensationalizing the subject
2. Create a feeling of movement (establish conflict)
3. Establish tone, mood, and/or situation
4. Create an initial impression of a character
5. Establish the story’s voice
After reading this book, I returned to the first book and re-wrote the opening paragraph. It also helped me on beginning my second book which starts this way:
Antonio growled. It was a low, cautionary growl that woke me—clear headed. Hyper-vigilant, I listened in the dark. My heartbeat quickened and I shuddered. Antonio Banderas, my large Scooby Doo type dog, had been sleeping on the end of my bed, facing the French doors. I could make out his head, his ears raised. Moonlight flowed through the curtains and I lifted the light blanket off as I sat up— ready to run if I had to.
Here’s a link to another site of first lines that further illustrates examples of memorable first lines that makes the reader take notice. http://thewritepractice.com/first-line