What should be on the first page of your novel?

Welcome back to TOYDUST.COM – my blog about books, toys, and writing.

Today’s topic?

What should be on the first page of your novel?


At a writing conference I attended, editor Alyson Heller spoke on this topic. Here are some things she looks for in the beginning of a novel:

*Not bogged down with info-dumping

*There needs to be emotion right away

*Needs to see why the character is feeling the emotion

*Have a sense of the character right away (personality, voice, etc)

*At least a hint of what the main character wants

*A consistent tone

Alyson Heller asked us: What do you want readers to know about your character right off the bat?

And whatever your answer is, make sure it’s on the first page!

So, looking at the first page of your novel, how does it compare with Alyson Heller’s advice?

Does anyone have any more tips for what should be included on the first page of your novel? Let us know in the comments section!

Next week we’ll discuss what makes a great first sentence of a novel…





(actually, nobody demanded this, but he’s coming back anyway…)






2 thoughts on “What should be on the first page of your novel?

    1. Hi Stephanie! I agree – first pages are hard. I have spent hours and hours agonizing over first page edits.

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