The first anything with a novel is tough to get right. The first chapter is especially difficult. Hopefully, these tips with help with your work in progress.
Set the scene and tone of the novel using specific details, setting or foreshadowing.
Hook the reader with action and conflict. This doesn’t mean you have to open with a car exploding, but something should be happening or is being set up to happen.
Establish the main character and their situation right away. Make them compelling. Give readers a reason to care about them and something to identify with.
Do end the chapter with a question that needs to be answered or a cliffhanger. This is to entice readers to turn the page.
Open with backstory or an info dump. It is boring and no one cares about your world and characters yet.
Open with a cliché, such as a dream, morning routines, flashbacks, or the POV character deep in thought. All of this will be either boring or feel like a trick, for instance, when a story has an exciting opening but then the main character wakes up or the flashback ends and then the real story begins.
Start the story to early. Bring readers into the story when events are being set into motion.
Don’t stress about the perfect opening line and chapter during the drafting phase. This will only paralyze your progress. There will be plenty of time to sweat nails during the editing phase of your writing journey.
Do you have any tips for writing the first chapter of a book?
I hope you liked this week’s blog post. The first two books in my urban fantasy series are still free for a limited time.
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