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Archive for the ‘First Chapters’ Category

Source: The Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine by Randy Ingermanson
Date: February 10, 2010
Issue: Volume 6, Number 2
Home Page: http://www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com

Good advice on hooking your reader.

A good first chapter does four things well:

  • It makes a contract with the reader
  • It sets a hook in the first sentence
  • It sets a second hook near the end of the first page
  • It sets a third hook at the end of the chapter

The reason you need three hooks is because readers have
three increasing levels of commitment:

  • If your reader likes the first sentence, she’ll commit to reading the first page.
  • If your reader likes the first page, she’ll commit to reading the first chapter.
  • If your reader likes the first chapter, she’ll commit to the rest of the book. If she’s in a bookstore, that’s the point at which she buys the book.
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Source: Finding Hope Through Fiction: TEN GIVE AWAY OPPORTUNITIES – NORA INTERVIEWS ACE COLLINS.

I think the most difficult part of any book is the opening chapter. Every word has to count. You have to draw readers in and get them interested in the characters and the plot. Hence, I spend more time working with the opening paragraphs and then the rest of the initial chapter than I do any other facet of the book.

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Source: Novel Openings – Forensics & Faith
Part Two: Novel Openings — Part II

Ever heard the expression, ‘ you only get one chance to make a first impression?’

This is excellent, really excellent, advice on how to start a novel well. What to reveal and what to withhold among many other decisions will make or break your novel. Includes some discussion of variations on openings based on genre.

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