Magic happens when your fingers start blazing over the keyboard, typing away words, drafting sentences, paragraph after paragraph. The first chapter of your Act One is finished and you feel like you’ve climbed a small hill, headed for the top of the mounting. You should be proud of this act of bravery, but then you give your First Chapter a read-through and you realize that you could have done a better job. Writers, after all, are some of the some self-criticizing creatures, dissecting and examining each word until their head spins and they’re ready to give up!
Resist the temptation to do that, instead follow my simple rules to draft a compelling First Chapter. Let’s get the technical stuff out of the way first before we move on to being creative. What I mean by technical? For instance, one of the first thing you should decide is your point of view. Are you writing the book in first person, third, etc.? You get the point. By choosing early on how you’re going to write the story, it will help you how you draft the next chapters – all the way to the last page. Now, since you’ve set the point of view, you can move on to introducing the main character, some description should be provided but be mindful not to give too many details. Your plot and character’s story line should drive the reader to want more. Help the reader find the clues with your protagonist (if you’re writing a mystery/crime novel). In the first chapter you should aim at setting the mood of how the rest of your book will unravel. Before you begin writing, jot down some ideas, take basic notes, even create a visual board to draw inspiration from when you run into a writer’s block. For more tips and exclusive news of my upcoming novel ‘Going Dark’ sign up for my newsletter and follow me on Twitter – @theauthorjolene.