By: Emily Wenstrom
The first chapter of a novel is arguably the most important—if a reader isn’t hooked, she won’t keep reading. And if that happens, nothing else you write matters.
Think of your first chapter as the tip of the iceberg—sure, there’s a ton more to your story that readers may not be seeing yet…but that’s what the rest of the manuscript is for. In the first chapter, you just need enough to hook the reader and get them curious about what’s going on under the water.
How to Write Your First Chapter
But what does it take to create that hook? I thought a lot about this as I wrote and edited my first novel. And my conclusion is that, while there are many different ways to creatively introduce a story in the first chapter, there are three key things a first chapter must do to pull a reader in.
1. Establish the main character
The protagonist is the reader’s conduit into the story. So you’ve got to make it easy for readers to make this connection—quickly.
This is simple to say, sure, but can be harder to execute. How can you be sure your protagonist hits the mark? Start your story from a place where your lead character is vulnerable or shows their strengths.
For example. . .
To read the rest of the post, click here:
If you missed my latest writing and marketing tweets, here they are again:
Top 8 Email Marketing Takeaways from DBW 2016 http://ow.ly/ZtGAG
- How to Print Advance Reader Copy (ARC) Books Using CreateSpace - SELLBOX http://ow.ly/ZxaEY
- Publishing Lessons: We Cannot Do It All | Jami Gold, Paranormal Author http://ow.ly/Zxc0G
- Eight Ways To Start Research For Your Historical Novel | Self-Publishing Review http://ow.ly/ZxcdS
- 10 Energy-Boosting Snacks to Fuel Your First Draft | Writing and Wellness http://ow.ly/ZxckW
- How non-English speakers can write better | Publication Coach http://ow.ly/ZxcrO
- #Writers, what can you learn from modelling? #MondayBlogs #NLP | deborahjay http://ow.ly/Zxcwj
- 5-Minute Book Marketing | Author Marketing Experts, Inc. http://ow.ly/ZxcNr
- How to Write a Fantastic Author Newsletter | Fix My Story http://ow.ly/ZxcTM
- Author Marketing Mastery #9: How to Conduct a Successful Book Crowdfunding Campaign - Where Writers Win http://ow.ly/ZxcXl
- Twitter Tips for Success – Part Two - BookWorks http://ow.ly/Zxd2z
- 2016 Social Media Platform Cheat Sheets | Indies Unlimited http://ow.ly/ZxdbW
- 3 Most Important Elements of Chapter One http://ow.ly/Zxdkn
- 5 Words Writers Should Stop Using Immediately | Christopher Kokoski http://ow.ly/ZxdV0
- Trunked manuscripts . . . after you’re already published | Pub(lishing) Crawl http://ow.ly/Zxe8k
- How Novelists Can Benefit from Using Cinematic Scene Structure | Live Write Thrive http://ow.ly/ZxefB
- Moneyball for Book Publishers: A Detailed Look at How We Read | The Passive Voice | http://ow.ly/Zxenb
Post a Comment