Tip: Look at the first sentence of your manuscript. Does it draw people in with a “story question?” This is when you draw the reader into the story wondering what’s going to happen and why. “It was a dark and stormy night.” This is a famous line (and famously bad) because it does nothing to draw the reader in. But… try: “Lightning flashed, momentarily blinding Tessa as she ran for the trees, hoping she could get to their safety.” This line introduces a character, lets the reader know it’s storming and probably dark (blinding her), and that she’s in some sort of trouble. Look at your first line. Does it draw the reader in?

Thought for the day: All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary. It’s just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences. – W. Someset Maugham

Jumpstart: Your character is building a new house. What does it look like? Where is it? How will it be furnished?