Over here, Alan Baxter contemplates the different ways of getting a reader in … grabbed by the throat or gently teased?
I’ve been thinking about the generally accepted premise that you need to grab readers in the first few lines of a story. I think for short fiction this is certainly true. You’re usually trying to get noticed in a slush pile several feet deep and an editor needs to be interested right from the outset. You need to convince that editor that in your 5,000 words or so you’re going to tell a clever, interesting and engaging story. There’s very little room for leisure in the opening paragraphs of short fiction. But is it also true of novels?