That's the ultimate goal in all this, to become better at what we all love to do. Having a mentor, someone who has expertise in the craft and world of publishing, means nothing if we don't glean from them what we can. So stick with me as we go on this journey. Read what an insider recommends. Take it if it works for you, and use it to improve, improve, improve!
For my first edit assignment, I was tasked with reworking Ch. 1 of my MS, OUT OF THE ASHES. Here is what was recommended to have a first chapter that grips your reader:
*The first chapter is crucial to hooking the reader. They need to either want to be your MC or empathize with them.
Not really the "hook" I'm talking about, but who cares, right? *swoon*
*Establish world-building. Flesh out the world, make it believable so that a reader will buy into it. If they have to stop to question something, it's yanking them out of the story.
*The relationship development needs to be the core of the book. Everything should stem from the relationship, the connection between your characters. (tip: take your own relationships, how you feel when you meet a cute guy/girl, and use that as a base for how your characters act/react.)
*Give your story depth, right from the start. Create three-dimensional characters and worlds that are believable and draw your readers in.
Those are the main highlights of my first round of edits. Some wonderful, wonderful advice in there. Things we can all apply.
Round One down, more to come. So stay tuned, and Happy Writing!