As writers, we know how important the first five pages are in our novels. I've put together a short checklist of question to be on the lookout for when writing/editing the beginning of your story.
1. Are the pages engaging?
2. Do you want to keep reading?
3. Is the main character likeable?
4. Are the characters not cardboard?
5. Is the scene set?
6. Can the reader picture everything?
7. Is the voice strong?
8. Is the voice consistent?
9. Is it passive/telling?
10. Is it cliche or overwritten?
11. Is the pacing too slow or too fast or just right?
12. Does the dialogue sound stilted?
I'm just about ready to send out more queries for The Princess's Treasure Hunt, but I would love to have a few more eyes on my first five pages. I'm too close to the story to be able to answer the above questions objectively. Anyone willing to take a look at them for me? I'm willing to reciprocate of course!