Four Ways To Conquer Chapter One

As writers, we know that chapter one will make or break our book and that puts a lot of pressure on us.

We want to begin in just the right place, pick the perfect point of view, and somehow prepare the reader for the rest of the book without giving anything away. If we get it wrong, the first chapter might be the only chapter of our book anyone reads.

Don’t fret. Your first chapter, like any part of your book, won’t come out perfect on the first try and that’s okay. You may change which chapter comes first several times before arriving at your final draft.

If you are stuck on your chapter one, you can send it through to me and I can help, contact me here

Below are four ways to master chapter one. 

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Three Ways To Start A New Chapter

When your novel is progressing nicely and you finish a chapter, the next chapter is calling but you procrastinate, you do your laundry and you avoid your next chapter.

Writing a novel is difficult. It takes time and persistence.

There are many rules new writers are unaware of. When I was writing my first draft for, A Time of Stones, I finished each chapter and stared at the blank piece of paper, confused at how I could start the next chapter.

If this is you, below are three ways to start that next chapter and three dead-end ways to start a chapter. These rules aren’t set in stone but more of a guide to make your novel the best it can be.

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Five Ways To Avoid Backstory Dumps

First of all, what is backstory?

The backstory is anything and everything that happened before your short story or novel. Some authors and writers think the reader needs to know what happened before the story starts.

Backstory might show another layer to the protagonist but too much hopping back and forth to explain origins can become tiresome. Readers want action, they want forward movement. Decide how little backstory you can get away with and make sure you include only important background information.

Below are five ways to avoid backstory dumps and threading it through the story to keep readers turning pages.

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Life Update and Works in Progress

It’s been a while since I last posted on a blog update. If you haven’t noticed I have been providing a lot of writing advice for new and well-seasoned writers.

This post, however, will be a little summary of who I am and what I am currently working on if you haven’t managed to look at my about me page.

Below is an insight into who the person is providing the writing tips.

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Four Ways to Explore Multiple Point of Views

In the last posts, I discuss Seven Ways To Add Subplot To Your Story and Four Ways to Build Suspense in Your Novel.

The most common way authors explore subplot and build tension is through multiple points of view. Multiple viewpoints can build the suspense for the protagonist, for example, in Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers. Having Merry and Pippin encounter the Ent in the Fangorn forest and deal with the source of Sauron’s army whilst Aragon, Legolas and Gimli are cornered in Helm’s deep with the people of Rohan, add pressure for Frodo and Sam to make it Mordor and destroy the ring.

Each point of view of the story should have a unique voice. Below are four exercises to challenge yourself and explore new ways to think about your point of view writing.

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Seven Ways To Add Subplot To Your Story

In previous posts, I discussed how to foreshadow and how to add suspense to your novel.

One of the points I intentionally left out was the subplot.

A subplot is an excellent tool for writers adding suspense and character dimension to their novel. The best authors know that much of a novel’s success depends on the interplay of plot and subplot. If your plot seems to be falling flat, or if your story starts to resonate as too one-note, it could be that a well-woven subplot is just what you need to add the kind of complexity and tension that readers crave.

When writers and authors begin to view subplots as material to weave into our main action, it becomes easier to see the strands of the plot individually—and to feel confident handling them.

I have outlined below seven ways to add a subplot to your story.

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Four Ways to Build Suspense in Your Novel

For many writers and readers, the suspense is a genre. However, it is also a key element in all stories—if you want your readers to keep reading, that is.

Tools for creating suspense belong in every writer’s toolkit because they help arouse expectation or uncertainty about what’s going to happen.

And that worry pulls readers deeper into your story, whether it’s fantasy, thriller, science-fiction, literary fiction or any other genre.

Below are four ways to help add suspense to your novel, no matter where you’re at in the writing process, from drafting to the fourth round of editing (like me).

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Four Ways to Foreshadow in Your Story

Most of the feedback from my novel, A Time of Stones, was that most of the conclusive moments were random and did not prepare the reader for what happened.

At the time of writing and editing, it seemed to make sense but as I read over it after the feedback – there was no foreshadowing weaved throughout the story of the main plot. It was like a lightbulb struck the dark room.

Has anyone else encountered the same problem?

As I edit my novel for the fourth time, I realize that foreshadowing is like the secret ingredient that helps your writing make sense. It’s often apparent only after readers reach the big event you’ve been prepping them for and a few little clues along the way will prime the pump for your novel’s most critical plot points.

For those still struggling with foreshadowing – here are four tips to help you foreshadow in your story.

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#FridayReads Challenge

Last year on my Goodreads account, I completed a reading challenge.

On a recent post, I shared my yearly #Fridayreads Challenge. I accepted and nominated eight books. I thought, if I at least set an achievable goal, it will motivate me to read more, however the eight books I chose were at least 700 pages long. In between the series I read short stories, poems and alot of articles on the craft of writing but I didn’t add those to my Goodreads challenge as they are alot shorter in length.

It has taken me awhile to complete the Memory, Thorn and Sorrow series by Tad Williams, but I did it. I highly recommend it for everybody who loves epic fantasy to read Tad Williams books.

What are you reading this week?

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