Write well. Write often. Edit wisely.
Your first chapter, your opening scene, your very first words are an invitation to readers.
Have you made your invitation inviting? That is, is it tempting or attractive or irresistible? Once a reader has glanced at your opening, will he or she find the story impossible to put down?
That’s one aim of your story opening, to issue a hard-to-resist invitation to your fictional world. You don’t want to create barriers for readers. Instead, you want to make the entry into your story one of ease and inevitability. You want to make the story attractive and compelling.
Books compete with movies and other books and games and the Internet and families and lovers—why wouldn’t you give your opening the strongest chance to snare a reader’s attention?
What can be found in a compelling opening?
A new world
What isn’t compelling?
Consider your first scene and first words your invitation to readers. You want them to stay a while? Give them a reason to enter your world and tease them with reasons to stay. Entice. Attract. Stir emotions. Stir their imaginations. Stir up curiosity.
Give them a reason to begin your story.
Give them a reason to turn pages.
Give them a reason to race to the end.
Invite readers into your story.