Chapter 1: How to Write the Most Important Chapter of Your Book

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Editor Says

“Chapter 1.” Two magical words that give no indication to the hours upon hours authors spend perfecting those first few pages. Without a captivating opening chapter, writers don’t make it past agents, editors, or readers. Here’s how you can nail writing the beginning of your story.

Make the first line count. I love tense, understated first lines. I love manic, rambling lines full of wildflower prose and turns of phrase I’ve never read before. I love any first line that will make me read it again and think, “Whoa. That’s cool.”

Take a look at some of your favorite books. What series of words did the authors choose to set the scene for their stories? How did they capture your attention from the get-go? Conversely, which books have first sentences that seem drab or unremarkable? Practice writing your opener half a dozen times in different ways, then ask a reader friend to take a look and…

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