Writers, do you have a high-action starting scene that just isn’t drawing the reader in? What can you do about that?
You need to set your scene to draw readers into the POV of the main character and give us an emotional connection to him. Without that, it’s hard to care about what’s going on.
How to set the scene?
1.Give us three or four or maybe five senses’ worth of what he is seeing and smelling and tasting, right at the beginning. Or work it in very soon. Maybe he’s a star trooper wearing a gas mask. Is there a metallic taste in his mouth? Can’t see too well? Blobs that could be dark clouds pummeling the heavens? Static in the earphones?
2. Be sure to show us his thoughts and fears right away. For the example of our star trooper, racing to cover. Sadness that the former village is in ruins. Recalling the conditions that led to this, briefly. Relief that his men are following. Puzzling about next steps. Jumping when lightning strikes, setting his ears to ringing. Determination to get what he’s after. A threat: a monster approaches.
3. Use short sentences or fragments to convey the drama of what is happening, and write exactly what he is thinking at that moment, no filtering. To learn more about this technique to avoid, check out what my co-publisher Suzanne writes: http://www.castlegatepress.com/filtering-a-subtle-form-of-telling/
I think you’ll find these will help draw your reader in to your story.
Opening scene used by author’s permission.