By: Marcy Kennedy
Here are 10 writing mistakes that kill your first chapter (in no particular order). Get them before they get you!
#1 – A Boring/Generic First Line
Don’t show me the character doing anything completely normal and forgettable. Waking up, getting out of their car, folding their laundry…
Your first line needs to raise questions in the reader’s mind and make them curious or hint at trouble/conflict. Preferably both.
#2 – Point-of-View Shifts
Head-hopping is always a problem, regardless of where it crops up in your manuscript, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I mean a point-of-view shift carried out with a proper transition.
Confused? In your first chapter, one of the things you need to do
is convince the reader
to invest in your main character. They need to spend time with them to do that,
and if you switch POV characters within the first chapter, the reader doesn’t
have enough time to make that connection.
#3 – No Clear POV Character
This point is the
doppelganger of (2). It’s extremely difficult to be interested in
a story when you don’t know who matters, what they care about, and why they’re
doing what they’re doing. Connect the reader to a character immediately and
allow the reader to experience the story through that person.
(If you’re writing in omniscient POV, ignore this point, but make sure you wow the reader with your distinctive voice.)
. . .
To read the rest of the post, click here:
If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
- 10 Writing Mistakes that Kill Your First Chapter - Marcy Kennedy http://ow.ly/Qhw8Q
- 3 Reasons to Review Your Grammar Often | The Art of Stories http://ow.ly/Qhwfy
- Advice for Authors from a Bookseller’s Perspective http://ow.ly/QhwZ6
- How to Use Your Logline, Tagline, and Pitch to Create a Stronger Story - Marcy Kennedy http://ow.ly/QhxfY
- How to Negotiate Like a Pro (Part 1) | Writers In The Storm http://ow.ly/Qhxnw
- Visual Content Marketing: A Resource Guide for Marketers Social Media Examiner http://ow.ly/QhxtW
- Why You Should Sell Your Books on Apple | Author Marketing Institute http://ow.ly/QhxZg
- How to Use Song Lyrics in Your Book [INFOGRAPHIC] | Better Novel Project http://ow.ly/Qhy8P
- Debut Authors: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Querying | Writing and Illustrating http://ow.ly/Qhzgl
- Pre-Orders, Sticking on Amazon, and Hitting Best Seller Lists | Lindsay Buroker http://ow.ly/QhzBe
- Writers On The Move: Harper Lee's Rich Legacy for Writers http://ow.ly/QhAbR
- Writability: Writing Tip: Don’t Be Afraid of Said http://ow.ly/QhApU
- Twitter Mind Map for Freelance Writers - Where Writers Win http://ow.ly/QhX3h
- When Does It Make Sense to Make Big Revisions? | Jami Gold, Paranormal Author http://ow.ly/Qihkn
- The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter: Spy on Your Competition, Sell More Books! http://ow.ly/QiIkI
I’m interrupting my report on my adventures in Normandy to tell you about what happened yesterday.
In June, out of the blue, I received an email from a writer with Runner’s World Magazine. He said he did many of the celebrity interviews, and he wanted to do a Q&A with me about how my life as a runner intersects with my writing career. Excerpts will be featured in the “I’m A Runner” section, which is the last page of the magazine and a longer version will also be featured on the Runner’s World website.
What a fantastic opportunity!
The article will be in the November issue about the same time as the New York City Marathon and the release of my fourth book, THE EMERALD BROOCH. I'll be sure to let everyone know when the article comes out!