From Literary Hub, “David Duchovny: I Tackle Writer’s Block From Behind; A Conversation with the Author of Truly Like Lightning,” February 8, 2021:
David Duchovny: Best writing advice was couched in the best movie making advice I ever got. A director friend of mine came to a screening of something I’d directed and wrote and he said, “people go to the movies to care about something. They make plans, they make dates, they pay babysitters and leave their homes and get in their cars—all because they want to care about something. Your job is to give them something to care about in the first five minutes. Doesn’t have to be a big deal, could be anything—will the old lady make it across the street, will the kid get an A on his paper, will the alien get back home. Give them something to care about in the first few minutes or you’ll lose them and no matter what, you won’t be able to get them back. You broke the contract. They came out to care and you broke the contract.” I think it’s exactly the same for writers. Just substitute 20 pages for 5 minutes, give them something to care about right away.
Click here for the entire interview.