Your first chapter needs to be the ultimate hook! Something that will encaptivate publishers, agents, and readers (no pressure). But don’t worry, that’s why you’re here…read on to discover the writers chapter one checklist.
Disclaimer: Everyone’s books are different so every first chapter will be. There is no perfect formula to a first chapter but there are key elements.
- Introduce the protagonist.
First things first, we need to know the main character. We don’t need to know descriptive details just yet but enough to know a little bit about them. And don’t forget…for every great protagonist comes a great antagonist.
- Establish a point of view.
What is your story’s point of view? Will you be writing in third person limited, third person omniscient, first person or another POV? Pick one and stick to it!
- Set the genre.
From the first chapter the reader should truly understand what genre they are reading. Is it a romance, science fiction, thriller and so forth?
- Introduce the conflict.
What is going to keep the reader engaged? Why are they reading this story? Introducing the conflict in the first chapter gives the reader something to look forward to and makes them continue to chapter two.
- Don’t overwhelm the reader.
Try not to throw in too much information in the first chapter. They still have a whole book to read after all! So limit the characters and places you mention in the first chapter.
And as always..have fun! This is your novel and there’s no right way to write a first chapter, just helpful tips! And if you have any worth sharing let us know!
This was great timing. Starting on a new book next week. Thanks for the tips.