While I’ve gotten attracted to a story in the first place by a cover, it doesn’t guarantee that I will continue reading. For me, covers are a side dish to the main meal.
So I get attracted to a story like this (and it’s chronological):
- The title.
The title draws me in first and foremost. I’m very picky on how it should look because I try to look for professional looking stories, even if you’re no professional. But it should be capitalized correctly and not be filled with “I’m a cliche story!” vibes. For example, if I see the Bad Boy Dates My Sister, I will not click on it.
- The summary.
If I liked the title and it piqued my interest, I’ll click on the story to see what it’s about. I’m not interested in excerpts… they tell me nothing about the story. I’m okay if an excerpt is with the summary, but it shouldn’t be by itself. I’m also heavily annoyed with vague summaries that tell me nothing about what to expect in the story, so it should focus on the main characters, the problem, and what might happen where they can fix it. And finally, it should be well written. If there’s obvious mistakes in the summary, it’ll tell me that there are obvious mistakes in the story… and that’ll force me away.
- The first paragraph.
If your title and summary hooked me in, then we move onto round three where I read the first paragraph or so. This is where I check to see if it starts off horrible. If it starts with a character waking up and dumping her entire life story, I’m out. If it starts with heavy descriptions about her appearance, I’m out. If it starts with a boring morning routine or a dream or anything that isn’t relevant to the scene or plot, then I’m out. Otherwise, I move onto phase four.
- The first chapter.
If the first paragraph or so is good, I skim through the chapter to make sure there’s no obvious mistakes or anything that annoys me. This is something like missing needed punctuation marks, using CAPS for yelling, text speak, etc. I’m okay for small mistakes because we’re not perfect writers, but if it’s something like I’ve mentioned, I’ll click out of the story. Otherwise, I move onto phase five.
- Adding the story.
If your story made it this far, then I’ll be adding said story to my reading list. Of course, I suck when it comes to actually reading on here but I’ll eventually get to it… maybe… hopefully before I die of old age. But if I like a story enough, I’ll add it and when I do read it and enjoy it, I’ll comment and vote on every chapter I read.