As we approach the new year, it’s like we are coming to a new chapter and some may even look at it as chapter one. I know it sounds cheesy but the new year gives people inspiration to start their lives in a new light. So in that honor we will be discussing how you can write your chapter.
Your first chapter needs to be the ultimate hook! Something that will captivate 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! One other tip is to keep track of what your doing, sometimes an easy organizer of your thoughts works like this one:
Weather (pun intended) we like it or not the holiday season is right around the corner! It’s practically here (in Grinch voice)!
And for some of us that means snow! Now, if you are trying to spark some creativity for your holiday novel one great way to do that is through imagery. Looking at photos can make us believe we are there and feeling the surroundings. So if you live in someplace that may not get snow, spark that feeling with some of these images!
There are so many tools to use to spark your imagination! Just by going online and typing themes of your book into the search bar and looking at the images can open a whole new door to your novel!
And I am not just here to show you pictures of snow because there can be so much more in a holiday novel. Maybe you live in a place that has too much snow and your characters take a tropical vacation for the holidays?
The possibilities are endless! Maybe you use your own photos to spark something! Just remember that you can spark your creativity through almost anything!
What happens when you have a word you want to say but there’s no word for it…you make one up! So many authors dating back to Shakespeare have done just that, and oftentimes you use words that you don’t even know an author invented! If the time comes and no exact word does the trick for what you’re trying to say, invent one!
Just to give you some examples, here is a list of words that you may use from time to time that authors invented.
“Tween”: J. R. R. Tolkein, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ (1954)
“Nerd”: Dr. Seuss, ‘If I Ran the Zoo’ (1950)
“Piehole”: Stephen King, ‘Christine’ (1983)
And those are just to name a few! Now of course authors can invent an abundance of names and places etc. However, these authors invented words that we use often in our vocabulary. Who knows we could be saying your word next! So if you find a whole in your story’s diction don’t be discouraged to mess around with creating your own word (just make sure it hasn’t already been used in another meaning).
If you are hesitant about starting your audiobook journey this article may persuade you. We at Hershman Rights Management are audiobook lovers to the core and maybe you will be too!
Now, if you are just starting out with audiobooks here are some ways you can maximize your experience.
Start with a well-reviewed book.
Everyone is different and has different tastes, but it is more likely for you to stick to audiobooks if you have a great first experience. So with that being said read the reviews and get an inside look on if it is the right fit for you.
Listen to the sample.
Along the same lines as reading the review, listen to the sample! A big part about audiobooks is the narration, so if you don’t think you can listen to the narrator for hours on end you might want to skip it.
Trigger your brain into doing multiple things at once. While listening to your audiobook do chores around the house, or pop it in while you’re driving. This will help if you get bored easily because you will have several things going on at once.
Commit to a time.
You don’t have to spend all day or two listening to your audiobook. Take a half an hour or so a day to your book so you don’t get worn out. A good time to listen to your audiobook is right before bed, it is very calming and a nice wind down from the day.
Those are our tips and tricks for beginning your audiobook journey! Let us know how it goes, and if you are already an audiobook lover let us know why.
With so much information at our disposal don’t forget to use it when writing your novel. Think of research as a necessary step when planning out your novel. Even if you are writing a romantic comedy there’s always research to be done!
You can crack open a book, head to google or even go out on an experience when it comes to research. Even if you are writing about going on a hot air balloon and you’ve done it before, look up the history of the hot air balloon or some fun facts, you never know when you can incorporate it into your writing. And just redoing that experience and going on a hot air balloon again you can open your eyes to how you want it to play in your novel.
Don’t underestimate the power of research even if you think you know enough for your writing. It can open an avenue you didn’t even know was there!
One of the authors we work with, Mimi Matthews does hours of research on historical fashion alone before finishing a novel. Have a look here!
They may have opened the book because of the title or the cover, but the author bio is what connects you to your readers. You want to entice them just enough to buy your book and get to know you a little.
As with writing anything, there are some soft guidelines you can follow when it’s your first time writing something. So for an author bio it goes as follows:
Keep it short.
I know you’ve all seen author bio’s so you know that keeping it brief is key. The book is where you let all your words fly out.
To sound more professional, use a third person voice when writing.
Nail down your one liner.
The hook, line and sinker is your one liner. Craft it carefully by sharing about yourself and something fun!
Share yourself a little. Enclude interesting facts that may go along with your book. But don’t oversell yourself. You can include your alma mater but dont go crazy on the list of achievements, that’s what google is for.
Use a professional photo.
This should go without saying, but you should not use a mirror selfie or a goofy family photo for your author bio. Take the time to get one professionally done, it will make all the difference.
I don’t know about you but I get most of my reading done in the summer! There’s something about the warm weather and a good book that just goes hand in hand! But before I even crack open a book I make my summer reading list! It’s a great way to get started, and to keep me on track plus sometimes I even forget what I want to read.
If you know you want to start your summer reading journey but don’t know what to put on your list I am here to help! I will list some out based on genre and if something catches your eye add it to your list! Alright..here we go!
You want to write a science fiction book ,but you keep getting stumped on character names. You created a whole new beautiful world and need the names to reflect that, so how do you come up with them? That is what we will be discussing today!
Take a name you already know. Think of your favorite name in whatever language and modify it a little. Play around with the endings and beginning until it sounds like the perfect name for your character.
Good ole name generator. Sometimes you need a little boost to get things started, and that’s where a name generator comes in handy. Fantasy name generator have more than just fantasy, but click on what you’re looking for and they can generate male and female names for you! Another good one is Donjon, they also have lots of genres and categories to choose from.
Go back to the roots. Crack open a latin or greek dictionary and use root words to come up with a name!
Tell us how you come up with your unique character names!
Do it for you and the rest will follow! Don’t be so hung up on being heard. You write for yourself after all, because you enjoy it. When you put all your work into a piece and you share it with the world, believe in yourself. Believe that you wrote something worth the time to read and people will read it!
Do the best that you can, and it will show. Your voice will be heard when the time is right. But in the meantime keep writing and keep trying to be the best that you can be! Sometimes the weekend can get the best of us but if anything, Monday can be a fresh start.
Read some more of our posts for writing inspiration, and writing advice!