For those of you who don’t know, I’m in the midst of editing the 6th draft of my novel. I’ve been working on this novel for two years now and am quite attached to the world I’ve created. Anyway, I’m frustrated with myself because I’m not where I want to be in the editing stage. Lots of doubts are swirling around in my head. It certainly doesn’t help when people keep asking “when will your book be published?!” The writing process is way more complex than people think. Editing and polishing first, query letter and agent searching next…etc.
So, I decided to read through some old blog posts this morning to motivate myself and funnily enough, I found one about editing your first chapter. I wrote it a long time ago on a different blog, but was surprised to see that I was struggling with the same inner demons then as I am now. I thought I would share it here because there are a few great tips.
In conclusion, it’s time to sit down and make myself an editing plan. One that I will stick to!
Hope you enjoy my “reblog”
Until next time,
“I find myself right now in the midst of editing my first chapter. Along with my own worries, doubts, and irrational expectations, I am joined by the opinions of others before me. Others who have made it clear that the first chapter is the most important chapter. It’s true isn’t it? If your reader isn’t interested in the first chapter of your book what’s going to make them turn to chapter two?
Here are some of my thoughts on what a first chapter should/shouldn’t include:
Make the first few sentences count: When I open a book I want to be pulled into the story. I need the first few sentences to be gripping and important. It doesn’t necessarily need to be something elaborate. Sometimes simplicity is key, but that simplicity has to have a special element.
Don’t give it all away: I sometimes find myself disappointed when I read the first chapter of a book and it contains way too much important information. That includes plot content, character descriptions and background, etc. Then I already feel the need to re-read it and that sometimes defeats the interest I originally had in the book. I like it more when important content is sprinkled throughout the first couple chapters.
Make the end as intriguing as the beginning: You want to end the first chapter with a pretty bow on top of a perfectly wrapped package. To end the last chapter with a line that isn’t intriguing as the first line is foolish. You have to make the reader turn the page and want to read chapter two.
Do you have any tips on how to perfect your first chapter?”